The BRIT Awards are apparently considering joining the Grammys in axing gendered categories. According to a report from The Sun, the change within the BRIT’s categorization could potentially come in time for the 2021 ceremony.
According to an anonymous statement issued to The Sun, the BRIT organizers want be more accommodating to non-binary artists, making the removal of gendered categories a priority.
A source within the ceremony organization explained, “Bosses are listening to changes happening in the industry. The categories will evolve in the coming years.”
The decision comes a little more than a week after Sam Smith announced that their preferred pronouns are they/them, which brought gender fluidity to the forefront of the industry. They came out as non-binary earlier this year.
“I’ve decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM,” Smith tweeted earlier this month. “After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out.”
Some, like Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan, have argued against the gender-neutral format. “The whole point of having the gender categories is to make it fair and equal, now we’re going the other way and that apparently is progress,” Morgan said. “I think it’s a load of nonsense.”
However, as the BBC notes, history doesn’t always bear that out. Since the Grammys merged Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2012, the award has gone to women five times and men thrice. Similarly, the MTV Music Awards changed Best Male and Best Female prizes to just Best Artist in 2017, with trophies since then going to Ed Sheeran, Camila Cabello, and Ariana Grande.
Regardless, if the BRITs do implement the changes, it won’t be this year. “We can 100% confirm that there will be male and female awards in the UK and international categories in February 2020,” reps for the awards told the BBC. Still, they added that 2021 will indeed see “significant changes” involving “more music and some category changes.”