I’m Gonna Say It, Award Shows Are Stupid.

By: Comet Ziemer

Alright, I’m gonna suck it up and say it, award shows and events are the stupidest thing ever. I understand why they exist, but that doesn’t deny the fact that they basically mean nothing in the grand scheme of performance. I get that there are a lot of people in the world that think someone’s fame or success in something can all be accumulated into a little statue, but I think those people are wrong. If you are a performer of any kind, whether it is singer, composer, or actor, your end goal shouldn’t be cameras on you at a big award show getting a statue, and here is why.

First of all, it’s no unknown fact that these award shows have dark reputations with rigging, discrimination, and infighting. And while some argue that this type of stuff happened a long time ago, it’s been shown year after year that these award shows refuse to get with the times. Let’s look at the Grammys first. Earlier this week, the 65th Grammy Awards aired on tv and with it, there were many familiar faces that showed themselves in the crowd, such as Cardi B, Lizzo, Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Beyonce, Adele, Doja Cat, Sam Smith, and many more. Many artists that have been hitting number one in the past few years have been a wide range of people. We have seen a large number of performers of color being able to get on top of the charts. And with that, you would expect that these artists would be able to get awards for their achievements. 

However, it is quite shocking that when you look at the past winners for awards in the Grammys, there is far less diversity than you would expect. For example, the last time a black woman won the Album Of The Year award was 1999, that being Lauryn Hill for her album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. It’s wild to think that we have so many talented black female artists, like Cardi B, but none of them have received Album Of The Year in so long. It is a sad reality that when you look at it, that many of the more well known awards in these award shows are often largely overrun by white artists. There has been some visible improvement made recently, and winners for these awards have grown tremendously more diverse. 

But looking away from the winners of these awards, the way in which these events are run are also horribly done. Lets again look at the Grammys and their choice for their 2023 Song Of The Year. There were many artists that made absolutely phenomenal songs this year that were nominated for this award. Songs like About Damn Time By Lizzo and As It Was by Harry Styles were just a couple of the nominations. But when it was time to announce the winner, the statue went to Bonnie Raitt with her song Just Like That. What made many people confused and upset about this choice is that the majority of people who listen to these artists and watch the Grammys had never even heard of Raitt and her song. When looking at the other nominations, all of them had tens of millions of streams on their songs, the lowest being roughly 50 million streams. However, Just Like That didn’t even reach 1 million streams. It was something a lot of people hadn’t heard and was clearly an artist that isn’t very popular with this new generation of listeners.

For the Song Of The Year award, there should be multiple aspects that go into deciding who wins. A combination of song meaning, impact, attention, and relevance with the majority of listeners should be taken into consideration. There were so many other songs that covered a wide range of topics that were made by diverse and talented people that watchers would be more familiar with. Artists like Lizzo have worked harder than so many other artists because of race, gender, sexuality, appearance, and many other aspects. It just feels like this choice for Song Of The Year is a winner that won’t really be remembered in a year of such great music and performance.

It isn’t just who wins what award, there is also the whole concept of giving out these awards. At the end of the day, art and performance is subjective. There are probably millions of people in this world that hate a movie that won tens of awards. 

There are constant arguments over what movie deserves the most awards, what actor did the best job, what director is better. But everyone has a different definition of perfection. Something’s worth can never be measured, because with 8 billion people in this world, opinions are too different to come to an understanding on what is good and what isn’t. And the same people who are giving these awards give no room for a full variety of opinions.

People will always be upset over what award goes to what thing because performance can never be measured. A better option would be to actually look at something’s success from the people who love it. What do fans of a certain artist think of a particular song? What do actors think about the work of certain directors? Allowing variety to be enhanced instead of following these guidelines for an award will allow for much better things to be made in the performing arts world.

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