In news which is further proof that men ruin everything, this year’s Brit best artist nominees are Stormzy, Harry Styles, George Ezra, Fred Again, and Central Cee.
Back in 2021, the Brit Awards announced that they would be getting rid of the gender split for best artist and best international artist in 2022. The move came after Sam Smith, one of the UK’s biggest-selling artists, was unfairly excluded from the awards for being non-binary.
A statement on the Brits’ website read that the decision was about “celebrating artists solely for their music and work, rather than how they choose to identify or as others may see them, as part of the Brits’ commitment to evolving the show to be as inclusive and as relevant as possible.”
This sounds good in theory, and does (at last) acknowledge that gender isn’t binary, but evidently having gender-neutral categories doesn’t work unless those selecting the nominees remember that women and non-binary people exist! Lol x
Obviously, the optics of having an exclusively male selection of nominees is Bad, but it’s not just about optics – a whole host of talented British women have been cruelly snubbed. Has the voting committee ever heard of Charli XCX? Rina Sawayama? Nominations for Stormzy and Harry Styles are fair enough, but George Ezra? I honestly didn’t know he’d released anything since “Budapest” in 2013.
The album of the year category is also dominated by men (epic), with Wet Leg the one and only female act out of contenders. Never mind the fact that Florence and The Machine released some of her best work this year.
There’s not really a clear bogeyman to direct our frustrations towards, either. The Brit voting academy isn’t a select bunch of rich, misogynistic white men – it’s actually an incredibly varied group of over 1,200 industry experts, across media, artists, labels, publishers, promoters and retailers. And in a way, this makes the exclusion of women and non-binary artists even more depressing – evidently, it’s abundantly clear that if you’re not a male artist, even in 2023 you still need to work twice as hard for half as much of the recognition.