Singer Sam Smith called for an end to separate awards for men and women, but lamented this year that no women were nominated for the now gender-neutral “Artist of the Year” category for the BRIT Awards.
British popstar Sam Smith, who identifies as non-binary, called for awards to not make distinctions based upon gender back in 2021.
“I look forward to a time where awards shows can be reflective of the society we live in. Let’s celebrate everybody, regardless of gender, race, age, ability, sexuality and class,” he said.
Adele won the first gender-neutral award for the category in 2022, and while saying that she can “understand” why the nature of the award changed, still praised women as a distinct group, proclaiming she is “really proud of us.”
However, no women were nominated for the gender-neutral category which Smith said was a “shame.”
“It is a shame,” the artist told The Sunday Times. “Things are moving forward, but it’s obvious it’s not there yet. From seeing that [best artist] list, there is still a long way to go.”
Smith also appeared to call for awards to be given to underrepresented groups in order to inspire audiences, rather than to praise achievement.
“[The BRITs] just have to celebrate everyone because this is not just about artists getting awards. Awards are for kids watching on TV, thinking, ‘I can make music like this,’” the musician said. “When I was young, if I’d seen more queer people at these awards it would have lit my heart. Awards are there to inspire.”
The Brit Awards nominees are Central Cee, Fred Again, George Ezra, Harry Styles, and Stormzy.
A representative of the BRIT awards reportedly explained to The Mirror that there were “fewer high profile women artists in cycle with major releases.”
Commentators on Twitter lamented the lack of female representation, but some blamed Smith and those who called for ending gendered categories.
“All the whining to have gender neutral BRIT awards means NO women nominees in the Artist of the Year award! Well done to the men who want it ALL!,” British radio contributor and author Dr. Pam Purr wrote. “Just shove female artists under the bus when they already have fewer music opportunities! (I hope Sam Smith is happy!) #BRITAwards.”
Broadcaster Dominique Samuels had a similar comment on the consequences of woke ideology.
“So the woke Brit Awards in their insane quest to make everything ‘gender neutral’, had only MEN nominated in their Artist of the Year category after removing ‘Best Male’ & ‘Best Female’,” she tweeted. “At this point the jokes just write themselves.”
Comedian Simon Evans joked on GB News in a barb that appeared to draw parallels to women being replaced in sports by transgender athletes with male musculature, “It seems that upper body strength is required to make good pop music after all is that right?”