Recording Academy President and CEO Harvey Mason, jr. has defended the Academy after Marilyn Manson and Louis C.K. received nominations for next year’s Grammy Awards. Mason told TheWrap that personal and legal matters won’t affect artists’ eligibility, suggesting that the Recording Academy would exercise more control over Grammy night invitees. Manson is the subject of multiple sexual assault lawsuits, and was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Rap Song for his respective contributions to Kanye West’s Donda and “Jail.” C.K., who was nominated for Best Comedy Album, has admitted numerous instances of sexual misconduct.
“We won’t restrict the people who can submit their material for consideration,” Mason told TheWrap. “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.”
The Grammys chief continued: “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.”
The Grammys were under fire last year when Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald received a Record of the Year nomination for his pseudonymous work as Tyson Trax on Doja Cat’s “Say So.” Fiona Apple accused the Academy of betraying Kesha, who has alleged abuse by Dr. Luke. “They had [Kesha] up there singing ‘Praying,’” Apple said, “and now they’re gonna go: ‘Oh but it’s Tyson Trax!’” Gottwald received three 2022 nominations for work with Doja Cat.
Other 2022 Grammy nominees include Dave Chappelle, whose history of transphobia has come under scrutiny in the wake of his Netflix stand-up special The Closer. He was nominated in the Best Spoken Word category for 8:46, alongside poet Amir Sulaiman. In addition, DaBaby, who faced backlash after making homophobic remarks during a July performance, is nominated twice in the Album of the Year category (for his contributions to Justin Bieber’s Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe) and Kanye West’s Donda).
Read “6 Takeaways from the 2022 Grammy Nominations” and follow along with all Pitchfork’s Grammys coverage.