It’s looking like this year’s Grammy Awards could be pretty controversy-filled should certain parties move forward on their plans to protest. According to Billboard, Rev. Jesse Jackson has hinted at a protest of the awards show, which airs Feb. 12.
He and other parties are particularly concerned with the cutting of awards categories, which have dropped from 109 to 78. It’s the biggest reduction in the show’s history and has done away with several instrumental categories, traditional gospel, and Zydeco or Cajun music album, among others.
As Billboard wrote, Rev. Jackson’s main gripe is that these reductions “limit participation of those who have been disenfranchised.” Or, in his words:
“Music of all arts should be expansive and inclusive. So much talent comes from the base of poverty and those in the margins. You limit the base, you miss too much talent.”
Rev. Jackson made his feelings clear in a letter to Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow, who said he is receptive to meeting with the civil rights leader as a means of solving this conflict. Portnow added that he and the Academy agree with Rev. Jackson and that “the Grammys are about music, not sales.”
What do you guys think about all this? Do you think Rev. Jackson makes a good point or was the Academy right in reducing the number of categories? Let us know in the comments section below!