Grammys under criticism as number of viewers decline

Jackson Volenec – Reporter

Many college students do not care about watching the Grammys this year, or any other award show at all, as many of them point out some of the flaws in the awards ceremony’s methods of picking the best artists.

The Grammys is a long-time award show that has given out what some have considered to be the most prestigious award a musician can receive. In more recent years, however, fewer people are watching the ceremony than ever before. Many people on college campuses think the ceremony is not worth viewing.

“I don’t really watch many of the award shows because it’s kind of the same thing all the time,” said English major Elida Flores, a sophomore. “There’s not really awards for the whole year, it’s more like the song that is most popular at that time getting the award.”

Many people believe award ceremonies such as the Grammys, the Oscars, the Emmys, etc. are all in the same group of elite people in the entertainment industries giving awards that are not fairly distributed to the best crafts in the competition, but rather who has the widest mainstream appeal to the greatest number of people.

“Growing up, I was obsessed with award shows, particularly the Grammys and the VMAs,” said journalism major Kirsten Wilson, a junior. “In recent years, I feel like the fun in these musical award shows has died, and often times I cringe when I watch them.”

Some of the worst examples of this in past years include the 2014 Grammy awards, where Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “The Heist” won a Grammy for “Best Rap Album,” beating Kendrick Lamar’s widely acclaimed “good kid, m.A.A.d city” that had very high praise from mainstream and underground music fans alike. “The Heist” was not considered by most to be considered award-worthy, as many of the songs were not successful.

The Grammys have been commonly criticized by people for having subtly racist implications in the categorization of the awards they give to artists as they showcase a lack of diversity in those who win.

The “Best Urban/ Contemporary Album” award is a prime example of a category that has been subject to controversy because of its nondescript title that targets minority artists, grouping them in a nonspecific category because of their race.

There have been several occasions where a popstar like Beyoncé has the ‘Best Urban Album’ award, which doesn’t make sense to me,” said Rashae Reeves, a junior at Western Connecticut State University. “She makes pop music. That’s what everyone would tell you if you asked them. They put her in that category solely because she’s black.”

This categorization does not make sense to those who actually listen to the music in this category, as all the artists in this grouping are making genres in other popular categories.

“To me, it seems like an easy to digest label for music produced by a person of color presented to a largely white audience watching at home,” said Wilson.

After the award ceremony this year, certain artists who had won an award had spoken out about this specific issue.

“I don’t like that ‘urban’ word, it’s just a politically correct way to say the N-word to me,” said winner of the award for Best Rap Album in the 2020 Grammy’s, Tyler the Creator in a post- Grammy interview when asked how he felt about the implied racism that came with that type of categorization.

As more criticisms of the Grammys pile on top of each other, the credibility of the award show has begun to dip in the public’s opinion. Some question whether they will even be relevant at all in the near future and in future years, the public hopes to see a change.

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