The “Scammys”

Chan Mi Park

Looking back, I find it paramount that inequity at the Grammy awards be addressed. On March 14th, at seven PM, the Grammy ceremony aired on national television. To be precise, it was the 63rd annual Grammy Awards. Accumulating many grievances over the years, Grammys and credibility have come under fire on several occasion. Due to the blatant inequality, many celebrities vehemently opposed attending. Artists with enormous fan bases such as Frank Ocean, Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Jay Z, the Weeknd, and more have shown distaste for the awards show. Their reason I want to objectively look back at the Grammys lies within the outdated system and lack of representation for artists who are people of color. 

Considering that only ten black artists have won Grammys, the public has the right to argue that they does not demonstrate equal representation and question their ability to honor all artists in the industry. The facts illustrate how extensively racial bias lies within the Grammys. However, the fault cannot lie entirely in the Grammys, as the entire music industry itself has been known to perpetuate racial prejudice.

There are many examples of situations where the Grammys failed to acknowledge equality and demonstrate racial bias. But, the most recent incident involves a Korean boy group called BTS or Bangtan Sonyeondan. BTS is known for their extensive and diverse fan base, and when it came to their nomination for their song “Dynamite” at the Grammys, many expected the BTS to win due to their success as number one on billboards for four weeks.  

When BTS left the Grammys, they departed with no award and a shortened performance. But what left fans heartbroken was the fact that BTS seems to have been taken advantage of to gain more viewers. The entire situation brought immense backlash for the Grammys, the exact opposite of what they had wanted to achieve. The Grammys seemed to have the intention of drawing more viewership for the program by tempting the fans of BTS, also known as Army, with the nomination. But clearly, the situation has brought forth an immense amount of negative feedback and hatred towards the Grammys, shedding light on their racial bias. What fans find even more infuriating is that BTS’s song “Dynamite” was only nominated for its all-English lyrics. With songs such as “Black Swan” and “Life Goes On” in all-Korean lyrics that illustrate immense talent, but were never considered for a nomination, many fans can see the racial bias demonstrated by the Grammys and the entire music industry.

The Grammys can no longer hold onto their credibility and reliability when it comes to representing every artist in the music industry. As such, the Grammys can no longer be seen as a fair judgment of talent. But the “Scammys” gives us contemporary insight into is how racial bias can quietly and insidiously pervade the music industry. With the recent situation, the “Scammys” and the music industry need to do better when it comes to equal representation of all artists.

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