The BRIT Awards have announced an overhaul of their voting system in an attempt to promote diversity.
The 2016 awards were widely criticised after Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) artists were only nominated in the international categories. Laura Mvula threatened to boycott the ceremony, while Stormzy (pictured) branded the Brits “embarrassing” in his song One Take Freestyle.
As a result, organisers have invited 718 potential new pundits to “refresh” the voting system following a major review. Voters from BAME backgrounds will make up 17% of the panel, up from 15% last year. The Gen has to ask: is this really such radical progress?
In another positive step, the gender balance has also been reviewed, after a review discovered that 70% of the voting academy was male, perpetuating the old boys image that the music industry seems to be finding it difficult to shake off. Next year’s BRIT winners will now be chosen by a panel that is 52% male and 48% female.
BRITS Chairman Ged Doherty penned an open letter stating that the membership of the Brits will change before next year’s event.
Doherty wrote: “There was an elephant in the room at the O2. As chairman of the BPI, the music association which organises the awards, I can tell you that it was sat firmly on my lap. It was an elephant some might characterise as a lack of diversity among the nominees, but which, for me, was more about the lack of recognition of the emerging music that is a huge part of British youth culture”.
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