No white male artists nominated for ‘Album of the Year’ Grammy

The Grammy awards have received criticism in the past for excluding people of colour from winning in their respective categories. So when the nominees for the Grammy’s most prestigious award, Album of the Year, was released, people were very pleased with the history-making list of nominations. There has never been a diverse pool, a white male at least holding one spot in the category.

Album of the Year nominations for 2018’s Grammy Awards show includes Jay-Z’s 4:44, Childish Gambino’s Awaken, Lorde’s Melodrama, Kendrick Lamar’s Damn, and Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic.

In previous years, there has not been an absence of minorities being nominated, but few have actually won. Lamar lost with his very popular album, To Pimp a Butterfly, to Taylor Swift’s 1989. Beyonce was also not awarded for her well-received album Lemonade last February, and lost to Adele’s 25. Adele’s acceptance speech consisted of her saying how she was undeserving to win Album of the Year against Beyonce, and offered to share the award with her. 

Award shows in general have proven to not be inclusive in the past, and people are now starting to notice. The biggest outbreak was the whitewashing of The Oscars in 2015, there being an all-white nominee list for actors. The academy failed to learn from their mistakes and had the same thing happen in 2016.

The hashtag #OscarsBeSoWhite trended across social media platforms, condemning the academy for not recognizing the work of people of colour in Hollywood. Out of the 20 nominations for acting roles, there were no non-white nominees in both years, surprising and outraging fans.

These were years when actors fo colour were flourishing in film, with Will Smith, Idris Elba, the cast of Straight Outta Compton and others at the forefront.

A boycott of the award show took place in 2016, because many figures refused to support the industry for the blatant disregard of POCs.

At the last Oscars, however, the show took a different route and included POCs in their nominations, and also awarded them for their roles. The Grammys in 2018 are taking a similar approach by not having any white males in the Album of the Year category.

Arguments have surfaced on whether this step was genuine in wanting representation for all people, or a way to conceal previous missteps. This one move does not diminish previous ones of not recognizing minorities, but it is a small step to reaching inclusivity in Hollywood.

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