When SAM SMITH bravely asked friends to stop using gender pronouns as part of a move towards officially becoming non-binary it was predictable the country’s biggest (and very woke) music awards ceremony would react in a knee jerk manner.
When Sam Smith bravely asked friends to stop using gender pronouns as part of a move towards officially becoming non-binary it was predictable the country’s biggest (and very woke) music awards ceremony, The Brits, would react in a knee jerk manner[/caption]
Given Sam is one of our pop superstars, the questions about the singer’s gender were frightening to the show’s governing body. What category would Sam enter into now? And would the Brits be facing a PR disaster if Sam refused to enter because there is no category for an artist now identifying as gender non-binary?
So just a week after Sam’s announcement, the Brits started briefing that they are planning a genderless overhaul of the gongs handed out in time for the ceremony 2021.
It would erase over 40 years of music history dating back to 1977 when CLIFF RICHARD was the first winner of Best British Male Solo Artist and SHIRLEY BASSEY won Best British Female Artist.
But what the bosses haven’t factored in is that such a decision could leave them with an even bigger problem when it comes to female artists, who have long campaigned about the fact they are often overlooked at the ceremony.
A genderless overhaul of the Brits would erase over 40 years of music history dating back to 1977 when CLIFF RICHARD was the first winner of Best British Male Solo Artist[/caption]
Just last year, Paloma Faith went public with her gripes, pointing out ‘it looks like it’s all men again’ when it came to performers on show[/caption]
I’ve analysed the British artists eligible for the Brits in 2020 and, if they were to genderless by then, it is highly likely organisers would be left having to explain a Best British Artist category dominated by blokes.
Ed Sheeran, Lewis Capaldi, Dave, Mark Ronson, Loyle Carner, Liam Gallagher and Thom Yorke are all either commercially successful or critical darlings likely to be voted for by the industry academy that picks the nominees[/caption]
Dave won the Mercury Prize this month[/caption]
In terms of female artists the only locks would seem to be Jess Glynne and Mabel, with Emeli Sande, Bat For Lashes, Marina and Freya Ridings likely to be shut out[/caption]
That’s because LEWIS CAPALDI, ED SHEERAN, DAVE, TOM WALKER, SAM FENDER, MARK RONSON, JAMES BLAKE, LOYLE CARNER, LIAM GALLAGHER and THOM YORKE are all either commercially successful or critical darlings likely to be voted for by the industry academy that picks the nominees.
In terms of female artists the only locks would seem to be JESS GLYNNE and MABEL, with EMELI SANDE, BAT FOR LASHES, MARINA and FREYA RIDINGS likely to be shut out.
The other option apparently being discussed is dropping the overall British male and female awards in favour of genre specific categories like Best British Pop, Hip Hop and Rock Act. But that could also see many female artists shut out.
Perhaps the bosses are confident that by 2021, ADELE and DUA LIPA will have released their new albums making them eligible.
What’s perhaps most interesting about the gender neutral move by the Brits is that some trans people are dead against it.
Take INDIA WILLOUGHBY – the country’s first trans newsreader – who makes the point that she spent years of heartache transitioning to compete in female categories in life.
Perhaps the bosses are confident that by 2021, Adele and Dua Lipa will have released their new albums making them eligible[/caption]
As she put it this week: “My only beef is with neutralising. Want the ABSOLUTE opposite, as I expect most other transitioners do.”
The reality is the portion of the population considered non-binary is minuscule. Of course they should be accepted like all minorities – but this decision risks endangering gender in entertainment forever.
What about the famous Best Actor and Best Actress awards at the Oscars? Will those gongs have to go too?
I had a very interesting conversation with a close gay friend this week about the different views of sexuality amongst Generation Z.
As closeted schoolkids raised in the Eighties and Nineties, what my pal and I craved was normality and acceptance – to be considered just another part of society.
Teens today, who don’t battle the same level of discrimination we did, are fighting for something quite different – they want society to bend its rules for them.
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In some ways, that’s honourable and will have very positive outcomes in certain areas. But not in this case.
The differences between men and women in art are beautiful and exciting – and for pop culture to lump everyone in the same category will make life all that little bit less exciting.
Sadly, however, I think the drumbeat towards a genderless society is becoming inevitable, with organisations like the Brits more worried about a woke backlash than common sense.