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Grammys chief says end of nomination committees "isn't a direct reaction" to The Weeknd's boycott

03 May 2021, 10:06 | Written by Cerys Kenneally

Grammys chief Harvey Mason Jr. has revealed that the disbandment of the "secret" nomination committees "isn't a direct "reaction"" to The Weeknd's boycott.

Back in March, The Weeknd pledged to boycott The Grammys due to "secret committees" involved in the nomination process, after not getting a single nomination this year despite having one of 2020's bestselling albums (After Hours).

Last Friday (30 April) the Recording Academy announced that the controversial "secret committees" would be eliminated from its process going forward. The anonymous nomination committees have decided many of the Grammy nominees for decades, including the "Big Four" which consists of Album, Song, Record of the Year and Best New Artist.

In an interview with Variety over the weekend, Grammys interim president/CEO Mason Jr. spoke about how long he's been working to end those committees. He said, "It’s something we’ve been working on since at least June [2019], when I was named chair, and about eight months ago we started a subcommittee that I charged with looking into what it would mean to eliminate nomination review committees and how we would structure the voting and change the process."

On how much The Weeknd's boycott played in the decision, he added, "The discussions about possibly removing nominations review started long ago and the real work of putting together a subcommittee to get this right started about eight or nine months ago, so, this isn’t a direct “reaction” to that situation. That said, any time an artist, especially one of that stature, calls our process into question or thinks something is unfair… the Academy is of course going to be affected by that, and want to work to make things better. I think the sentiment around the Academy has been evolving over the last 12 months, I think momentum has been picking up from the end of last year’s show, and we’ve been changing so much."

He also said, "Did The Weeknd impact someone into thinking this is definitely something that needs to change? I can’t speculate, but I know the goal is to remain relevant and to be on the leading edge of music."

Read the full interview with the interim Grammys president at
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