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Brian May says BRIT Awards removing gendered categories is "frightening"

25 November 2021, 12:26 | Written by Cerys Kenneally

Brian May has discussed the BRIT Awards deciding to remove gendered categories for 2022, calling the decision "frightening" and one that has been "made without enough thought".

Earlier this week it was announced that the 2022 BRIT Awards will scrap gendered categories, and introduced four new genre-led awards.

Tom March, BRIT Chair and Co-President of Polydor Records said of the decision, "It is important that The BRITs continue to evolve and aim to be as inclusive as possible. It feels completely the right time to celebrate the achievements of artists for the music that they create, and the work that they do, irrespective of gender."

While speaking to The Mirror at ITV’s Palooza event in London this week, Brian May spoke about the move, saying, "It’s a decision that has been made without enough thought. A lot of things work quite well and can be left alone."

He continued, "I get so sick of people trying to change things without thinking of the long-term consequences. Some of these things are an improvement, some of them are not."

May also said that he believes there's an "atmosphere of fear everywhere because people are afraid to say how they really think," and added, "I think so many people are feeling, ‘Hang on, this isn’t quite right’. But they don’t dare say anything. Eventually there will be some kind of explosion."

He also referenced late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, and said he believes the legendary singer would have found today's culture "difficult".

"For instance, Freddie came from Zanzibar, he wasn’t British, he wasn’t white as such - nobody cares, nobody ever, ever discussed it," May explained. "He was a musician, he was our friend, he was our brother. We didn’t have to stop and think: ‘Ooh, now, should we work with him? Is he the right colour? Is he the right sexual proclivity?’ None of that happened, and now I find it frightening that you have to be so calculating about everything."

The 2022 BRIT Awards will take place on 8 February 2022.
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