Singer Sam Smith has called for an end to the separation of awards between men and women, but this year he regretted that no women were nominated for the now-gender-neutral “Artist of the Year” category for the BRIT Awards.
British pop star Sam Smith, who identifies as non-binary, has called for awards for non-discrimination on the basis of sex in 2021.
“I look forward to a time when awards shows can reflect the society we live in. Let’s celebrate everyone, regardless of gender, race, age, ability, gender and class,” he said.
Adele won the category’s first gender-neutral award in 2022, and while she said she could “understand” why the nature of the award had changed, she still praised women as a distinct group, declaring she was “really proud of us”.
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However, no women were nominated for the gender neutral category which Smith called “a disgrace”.
“It’s a shame,” the artist told The Sunday Times. “Things are moving forward, but it’s clearly not quite there yet. From seeing that [best artist] List, there is still a long way to go.”
Smith also seemed to advocate giving awards to underrepresented groups in order to inspire audiences, rather than praise achievement.
“[The BRITs] Just celebrate everyone because it’s not just about artists getting awards. The musician said “The awards are for kids who watch on TV, and think, ‘I can make music like this. ‘” When I was young, if I saw more gay people at these awards, it would have kindled my heart. The awards are there for inspiration.”
The Brit Awards nominees are Central Cee, Fred Again, George Ezra, Harry Styles, and Stormzy.
A representative of the BRIT Awards reportedly explained to The Mirror that there are “fewer high-profile female artists in a cycle with major releases”.
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Commentators on Twitter lamented the lack of female representation, but some blamed Smith and those calling for an end to gender categories.
British broadcast contributor and author Dr. Pam Burr writes: “All the whining for gender-neutral BRIT Awards means there are no women nominated for Artist of the Year! Well done to the men who want it!”. “Just push female artists under the bus when they really have less opportunities for music! (May Sam Smith be happy!) #BRITAwards.”
Broadcaster Dominic Samuels had a similar comment on the consequences of the vigilante ideology.
“So the Awake BRIT Awards in their mad quest to make everything ‘gender neutral’ have only nominated men in the Artist of the Year category after removing ‘Best Male’ and ‘Best Female’,” she wrote on Twitter. “At this point, the jokes just write themselves.”
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Comedian Simon Evans joked on JP News in Barb that seemed to equate the women who were replaced in sports with transgender athletes with masculine musculature, “It seems like upper body strength is required to make good pop music after all, is that right?” “