President and CEO of the Recording Academy Harvey Mason Jr. has responded to the controversial Grammy nominations of artists like Marilyn Manson and Louis C.K., telling TheWrap that personal and criminal history won’t be taken into account for eligibility of its awards. Instead, the Recording Academy will exercise control over Grammy night invitees.
“We won’t restrict the people who can submit their material for consideration,” Mason Jr. said. “We won’t look back at people’s history, we won’t look at their criminal record, we won’t look at anything other than the legality within our rules of, is this recording for this work eligible based on date and other criteria. If it is, they can submit for consideration.”
He continued by explaining how the Academy could exercise discretion over who attends their events. Mason Jr. added, “What we will control is our stages, our shows, our events, our red carpets. We’ll take a look at anyone who is asking to be a part of that, asking to be in attendance, and we’ll make our decisions at that point. But we’re not going to be in the business of restricting people from submitting their work for our voters to decide on.”
Thanks to a new rule change, Manson received an Album of the Year nomination for his contribution to Kanye West’s Donda. He has been accused by multiple women of sexual abuse. Meanwhile, C.K. received a Best Comedy Album nomination for Sincerely Louis CK, the 2020 special in which he joked about his sexual misconduct. He was accused of sexual misconduct by five women in 2017, later admitting the allegations were true.
Another controversial nominee is Dave Chappelle, who was nominated in the Best Spoken Word category for 8:46 after facing backlash for transphobic comments made in his stand-up special Closer. Rapper DaBaby also received a pair of nominations for his guest appearances on Donda and Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe) after delivering a homophobic and misogynistic rant during his Rolling Loud Miami set in late July.
The 2022 Grammy Awards will take place on Sunday, January 31st. We’ll see if any of these artists are in attendance.