The Grammys So White controversy has been making the rounds in the media since the February 12 59th Grammy Awards, according to RTE. What triggered the “race problem” controversy this year was Beyoncé losing out to Adele in three major categories at the awards show.
— Malinda S. Smith (@MalindaSmith) February 17, 2017
Grammys So White – a reference to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy in 2016 – is a renewed outcry lashing out against the entertainment industry for being “racist” and failing to recognize the significant achievements of people of color.
Beyoncé, who has taken home a whopping 22 Grammys throughout her solo career and work with Destiny’s Child, had the most Grammy nods at the Grammys 2017 (nine), and many experts predicted her to win big this year. However, the “Formation” hitmaker ended up losing to Adele in three major categories of the awards show, sending social media into the Grammys So White frenzy.
Although this year’s Oscars has so far been doing a good job at fixing its apparent “race problem” – in 2016, the Academy was infamously slammed for its #OscarsSoWhite controversy after not nominating actors of color in any of the four acting nominations for two consecutive years – people are still questioning other major awards shows for their lack of diversity.
Grammys So White, which comes as a disturbing echo of Oscars So White, has many music enthusiasts claiming that Beyoncé’s Lemonade was snubbed in the Album of the Year category, which is often viewed as the most important category of the Grammy Awards.
— News by Amanda (@amandasome) February 15, 2017
Neil Portnow, the Recording Academy President and Grammys boss, however, doesn’t think there are grounds for the Grammys So White controversy and believes that the Grammys don’t have a “race problem at all.”
Speaking to Pitchfork, Portnow reminded that Grammys is a “peer-voted award, it’s not a corporate entity” comprised of more than 14,000 voting members.
“It’s always hard to create objectivity out of something that’s inherently subjective, which is what art and music is about. We do the best we can.”
Despite the Grammys So White controversy, Beyoncé managed to win two awards at this year’s awards ceremony, including one (Best Urban Contemporary Album) for her album Lemonade, which tackles such issues as race, infidelity, and social injustice.
—????????The Patriot???? (@USAPolicalNEWS) February 15, 2017
However, the “Formation” hitmaker still ended up losing to Adele in three major categories, triggering the Grammys So White controversy and prompting Adele herself to address the Academy’s racial problems in her acceptance speech, according to the Huffington Post.
With her acceptance speech, in which she tearfully described Beyoncé as “the artist of my life,” Adele can teach white women a few crucial lessons. The “Hello” hitmaker’s speech, in which she directly pointed at the Grammys So White controversy, shows how white women can empower others by simply stepping back and elevating women of color.
In fact, it’s not enough to just acknowledge that white supremacy exists in Hollywood to eradicate such racial controversies as Grammys So White or Oscars So White. It would make a much bigger difference to call out specific injustices.
Speaking with the press backstage, Adele was even harsher in her Grammys So White comments, wondering what “the f***” does Beyoncé have to do to win Album of the Year? This year’s Grammys marked the third time Beyoncé has lost in the Album of the Year category to three white artists.
— Ivan Kreilkamp (@IvanKreilkamp) February 14, 2017
Later the same night, Adele attempted to fix the Grammys So White injustice and reportedly snapped one of her Grammys in half and offered it to Beyoncé. It’s not the first time the Grammys have been accused of racial problems, as the last time a person of color won Album of the Year was Herbie Hancock nearly a decade ago, in 2008.
[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]