The Recording Academy’s CEO is responding to the controversial Grammy nominations Tuesday for artists like Marilyn Manson and Louis CK.
When asked by TheWrap about Manson’s nomination specifically, CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said the Recording Academy won’t take into account anyone’s personal history when determining eligibility for its awards. But that’s hardly a defense of anyone’s actions, and it does not necessarily mean that they will be invited to the Grammys ceremony.
“We won’t restrict the people who can submit their material for consideration. 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,” Mason told TheWrap.
He 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.”
Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner and has been accused of sexual assault and abuse (Manson has denied the accusations and called the claims “horrible distortions of reality”), was twice nominated this year for his contributions to Kanye West’s “DONDA,” which was nominated for Album of the Year and in Best Rap Song for West’s track “Jail.”
Manson was not the main songwriter submitted for consideration, but as part of the eligibility rules, he is considered a Grammy nominee. The nominations were his sixth in his career.
As for CK, the comedian’s album “Sincerely Louis CK” was nominated for Best Comedy Album alongside comedians like Kevin Hart, Chelsea Handler and Lewis Black. CK admitted in the height of the #MeToo movement to sexual misconduct, and the special was his first since the accusations.
Among some of the other eyebrow-raising nominees was Dave Chappelle, who has faced backlash for transphobic comments made in his recent Netflix stand-up special “The Closer.” He was nominated in the Best Spoken Word category alongside poet Amir Sulaiman for his work in “8:46,” and he’ll go up against Barack Obama, LeVar Burton and Don Cheadle in the category.