Grammys boss says The Weeknd boycott “doesn’t affect us or offend us”

The Weeknd has vowed to boycott the awards show after being snubbed for the 2021 ceremony

The head of the Recording Academy has spoken about The Weeknd’s boycott of the Grammys, saying the star’s move “doesn’t affect us or offend us”.

The Weeknd vowed not to submit his music for consideration for the Grammys in the future after his album ‘After Hours’ failed to be nominated for a single award at the 2021 ceremony.

In a new interview with Billboard, Harvey Mason Jr, the Recording Academy’s CEO, was asked if responses like the Canadian star’s “distract from the work”. “It’s not distracting, it’s understandable,” he replied.

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“People that make music are passionate people inherently. These [projects] are their babies. When they get upset, it doesn’t affect us or offend us. Getting this right is the priority. The perception of the academy and our process is important because it allows us to do the work that we want to do.”

Harvey Mason Jr, Grammys
Grammys boss Harvey Mason Jr CREDIT: Rich Fury/Getty Images The Recording Academy

He added that it “might be nice” to not hear artists’ complaints in the press but rather via text or phone call, but said it was important to evaluate any criticism and “find out actionable steps on how to be better”.

“At the end of the day, when our members and our community say, ‘We’d like to look at something differently and we think there is a new way of doing this, it’s better’, we listen and we move,” Mason Jr said.

During the Grammys 2021, which was held in March, the CEO asked artists to “work with us, not against us”. In a video message at the end of the ceremony, Mason Jr promised: “We’re listening like never before.”

A month later, the Recording Academy announced it was axing the anonymous voting committee that had been in place since 1989. Traditionally, the committee would trim down the nomination choices made by the academy’s members and decide who would appear on the final ballots.

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Among the nominees for the Grammys 2022 are Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, J. Cole, Jon Batiste and Justin Bieber. Jay-Z set a new Grammys record by surpassing Quincy Jones for the most nominations in the history of the awards, now sitting on 83 after his three 2022 nominations.

Drake, meanwhile, was in the running for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance, but has since withdrawn his nominations. It has not been revealed why the star rejected the nominations.

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