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Artist Coalition Calls for Grammy Boycott After Several Categories Given the Ax

Scott Gries, Getty Images

If you’ve ever sat through an entire Grammy Awards show, the idea of having a few less categories might not strike you as such a bad idea — but for some of the artists affected by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences’ recent decision to whittle down the number of awards, it’s a potentially racist affront.

A group of musicians — including Paul Simon and jazz legend Herbie Hancock — has banded together to call for a boycott of CBS, which airs the awards ceremony, and is investigating a legal response to the Grammy cutbacks. As artist Bobby Sanabria put it in an interview with the AP, “We will ask people to stop watching CBS, boycott their sponsors and then write them. We’re at a critical juncture.”

Particularly vexing to the group is the fact that many of the categories being cut down or merged are heavily ethnic, which will have a whitewashing effect on the awards. The Academy, unsurprisingly, disagrees. In a public statement, NARAS said it “spent two years researching and ultimately making the decision to restructure the Grammy Awards categories for reasons that had everything to do with recognizing excellence in music and the integrity of our awards and nothing to do with ethnicity or race.”


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