GRAMMY AWARDS MAKE CHANGES TO URBAN, BEST NEW ARTIST CATEGORIES – (06/11/2020)
The Recording Academy announced new rules and guidelines for the Grammy Awards.
The Best Urban Contemporary Album category will be called Best Progressive R&B album. The use of the word urban has been criticized for being inappropriate and a synonym for black music.
The term urban will remain in the Grammys, however, with the Latin Pop album category being changed to Latin Pop or Urban Album. The Latin, Rock Urban or Alternative category has been renamed to Latin Rock or Alternative and the Best Rap/Sung Performance category has been renamed to Best Melodic Rap Performance.
Best New Artist will no longer prevent musicians from entering the category due to having released more than 30 singles or tracks.
Earlier this year, Tyler, the Creator was among the artists to call out the category and say he was torn between winning an award and the fact he disliked the term “urban.” “I’m half and half on it,” he said. “On the one side I am very grateful that what I made can be acknowledged in a world like this… but it sucks that whenever we, and I mean guys that look like me, do anything that’s genre-bending or anything, they always put it in a rap or urban category.”
“And I don’t like that ‘urban’ word,” he added. “It’s just a politically correct way to say the n-word, to me. So when I hear that, I’m just like, why can’t we just be in pop? So I felt like – half of me feels like the rap nomination was a backhanded compliment.”
This week, Billie Eilish backed Tyler’s comments. “I hate when people say, ‘Oh, you look like “blank.” You sound like “blank”.’ It was such a cool thing Tyler said. I agree with him about that term,” Eilish said in an interview with GQ.
Billie also agrees with the sentiment of why people say she only won her Grammys because she’s white: “Then there’s the other side of this whole thing: people sh*tting on me because I am white. ‘Oh, she’s white, that’s why she won.’ You know what? I agree with the sentiment; I get why people say that.”
The Recording Academy is also introducing changes to the Nominations Review Committee, shortening the amount of time members can be a part of the committee.
The Academy will additionally examine more closely conflicts of interest within its committees.
“We’re constantly evaluating our Awards process and evolving it to ensure the Grammy Awards are inclusive and reflect the current state of the music industry,” Interim President and CEO of The Recording Academy Harvey Mason Jr. said in a statement.
The 63rd annual Grammy Awards is set to take place on January 31, 2021.
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‘GONE WITH THE WIND’ REMOVAL REIGNITES DEBATE OVER HOW HOLLYWOOD DEALS WITH CONTROVERSIES – (06/11/2020)
Adjusted for inflation, Gone With the Wind is the highest grossing film of all time. It won 10 Oscars, including the first ever for an African-American performer, supporting actress Hattie McDaniel.
But the 1939 film, adapted from the Margaret Mitchell book of the same name, has several problematic elements, including stereotyped depictions of African Americans, a case of marital rape and a generally gauzy depiction of the Civil War-era South.
When HBO Max pulled it from its nascent service there was both support and outrage.
The film will return, a spokesperson said, with “a discussion of its historical context” and denunciation of its racially charged aspects. The movie itself won’t be altered.
The move was encouraged by 12 Years a Slave director John Ridley, who pointed out that the film “glorifies the antebellum south” and perpetuates “some of the most painful stereotypes of people of color.”
Not everyone was behind the decision. Wrote critic Charlie Kirk: “Liberty means: If you don’t like Gone With The Wind, then don’t watch it If you don’t want to leave your home, then don’t If you don’t like someone else’s views, then don’t listen You don’t have to silence people, erase history, or cancel our culture to feel ‘safe’in America”.
Rep. Paul Gosar pointed out the ironic timing: “Born today in 1893: Hattie McDaniel, the first black actress to win an Academy Award for her role in Gone With the Wind. HBO removed her award-winning movie on what would have been her 127th birthday.”
Megyn Kelly also denounced the move saying, “For the record, you can loathe bad cops, racism, sexism, bias against the LGBTQ community, and not censor historical movies, books, music and art that don’t portray those groups perfectly. Ppl understand art reflects life… as we evolve, so do our cultural touchstones.”
She added that if Gone With the Wind has to go, “let’s do this – every episode of ‘Friends’ needs to go right now. If not, you hate women (& LGBTQ ppl, who also don’t fare well on ‘Friends’). Obviously Game of Thrones has to go right now. Anything by John Hughes … Woody Allen… could go on & on… & on…& on…”
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KYLIE JENNER REVEALS PERCENTAGE OF BLACK EMPLOYEES, IGNORES SOCIAL DISTANCING – (06/11/2020)
Kylie Jenner’s beauty brand is participating in the Pull Up or Shut Up initiative designed to find out which brands are actually walking their progressive talk.
Uoma Beauty’s founder and CEO Sharon Chuter introduced the initiative, saying: “Thank you for the public statements of support for the Black community. Whereas we understand and appreciate the support, be conscious that to piggy-back off a trending hashtag when you have been and continue to be a part of the problem is once again appropriating and exploiting the Black community.”
The statement continued: “So we ask all brands who have released a statement of support, to publicly release within the next 72 hrs the number of Black employees they have in their organizations at corporate level. We also need to know the number of Black people you have in leadership roles. You all have statements and policies about being equal opportunity employers, so show us the proof! PULL UP or SHUT UP!”
Jenner shared: “@kyliecosmetics Pulled up! 13% Black representation and leadership team consists of @kyliejenner and @krisjenner. Thank you for the transparency #pulluporshutup.”
The beauty brand also disclosed that its staff also consists of 100% women-identifying, 53% White and 47% BIPOC (which stands for Black, Indigenous and People of Color).
Meanwhile, Jenner apparently nixed social distancing advice during a celebration for Anastasia “Stassie” Karaniklaou‘s 23rd birthday, partying with several friends.
Karaniklaou posted the group shot on her Instagram, writing, “Missing Liv and Taylor but these are my humans. I appreciate you all more than you know. thank you for a special night.”
Gatherings of 100 people or less are permitted in California, but the CDC recommends distances of six feet and the wearing of masks.
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