Ahead of the awards on Sunday 28th of February, nominee for the Best Original Song award, Anohni (formerly known as Antony Hegarty), has announced she will not be attending the ceremony in an emotional essay penned by the artist, and published jointly on Pitchfork and her website.
The second ever transgender Academy Award nominee in the ceremonies' history, Anohni’s decision comes after her performance was cut due to time restraints. In the piece of writing Anohni addresses how she doesn’t believe her gender identity is the sole reason for having her performance cancelled, but more of a reflection of how trans people are treated in a wider context.
“Like global warming, it is not one isolated event, but a series of events that occur over years to create a system that has sought to undermine me, at first as a feminine child, and later as an androgynous transwoman. It is a system of social oppression and diminished opportunities for transpeople that has been employed by capitalism in the U.S. to crush our dreams and our collective spirit,” she says.
The musician then goes on to to call BS on the pseudo-activism and attempts at political awareness during award ceremonies:
“They are going to try to convince us that they have our best interests at heart by waving flags for identity politics and fake moral issues. But don't forget that many of these celebrities are the trophies of billionaire corporations whose only intention it is to manipulate you into giving them your consent and the last of your money. They have been paid to do a little tap dance to occupy you while Rome burns.”