‘I look forward to a time where awards can be reflective of the society we live in’: Non-binary singer Sam Smith breaks silence on BRITs keeping gender-specific categories for 2021
Non-binary singer Sam Smith has broken their silence on the Brit Awards keeping gender-specific categories for this year’s ceremony.
The 28-year-old took to Instagram on Thursday where they told their followers they look forward to ‘a time where awards can be reflective of the society we live in’.
According to The Sun, bosses wanted to talk to Sam ahead of voting to ensure they’re happy with the category they appear in.
Speaking out: Non-binary singer Sam Smith has broken their silence on the Brit Awards keeping gender-specific categories for this year’s ceremony (pictured in 2015)
Sam penned on Instagram: ‘The Brits have been an important part of my career, one of my earliest achievements was winning Critics Choice in 2014.
‘Music for me has always been about unification not division.
‘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.’
Their say: The 28-year-old took to Instagram on Thursday where they told their followers they look forward to ‘a time where awards can be reflective of the society we live in’
Breaking silence: Sam penned on Instagram: ‘Let’s celebrate everybody, regardless of gender, race, age, ability, sexuality and class’
As it stands, the music awards are set to happen on May 11 – pushed back from the event’s usual date in February amid the pandemic – at London’s O2 Arena.
A representative for the BRITs later told MailOnline: ‘The BRITs love Sam. Sam won our Critics’ Choice Award (now Rising Star) in 2014 and went on to enjoy incredible international stardom, winning more BRIT Awards and nominations along the way as well as giving us some of the most memorable performances ever.
‘Sam is an extraordinary British artist and we agree with what they have said today. The BRITs are committed to evolving the show and the gendered categories are very much under review.
‘But any changes made to be more inclusive need to be just that – if a change unintentionally leads to less inclusion then it risks being counter productive to diversity and equality. We need to consult more widely before changes are made to make sure we get it right.’
A source had previously said: ‘The concern is that looking at the artists who have released this year — with all of the restrictions and problems — scrapping separate male and female awards categories might actually have had more of a negative impact across the board.
‘It’s definitely something that is going to be looked at again in subsequent years.’
MailOnline has contacted a representative for Sam Smith for further comment.
Checking in: BRITs bosses have since confirmed they will consult ‘more widely’ regarding gender categories to ensure they ‘get it right’ (Sam pictured at the 2018 Brits)
Among the stars already tipped for a nomination are Dua Lipa, who released album Future Nostalgia in 2020, Paul McCartney and The 1975.
Little Mix are also said to be in the running for a few nods, with the trio reportedly set to share new music imminently after the exit of bandmate Jesy Nelson at the end of last year following the release of their album Confetti.
It has often been reported that the Brit Awards have had discussions about changing how the Best Male and Best Female categories are set up.
Date for the diary: As it stands, the music awards are set to happen on Tuesday 11 May – pushed back from the event’s usual date in February amid the pandemic – at London’s O2 Arena
While categories such as best newcomer and best single include male and female nominees, those for best solo performers have been split by gender since 1977.
It was first reported in 2019, a week after Sam announced they were non-binary and using the pronoun ‘they’, that organisers are deciding whether to update categories to accommodate artists such as Sam.
The MTV Movie & TV Awards adopted a gender-neutral acting award in 2017, when it was given to Emma Watson for her role in Beauty And The Beast.
Meanwhile, after the 2020 Brit Awards there was a sexism storm at the lack of female nominees, as the shortlist was largely male-dominated.
There were no female performers included in the shortlists for best group or album awards, although English singer Mabel, 23, was nominated for three awards and ultimately claimed one of the biggest of the night – Best British Female Artist.
In the running: Griff (centre), Pa Salieu (right) and Rina Sawayama have been nominated for the rising star Brit Award in 2021, with previous winners including Adele and Ellie Goulding
Charli XCX also hit out at the event for having male and female nominees competing in separate categories ahead of the ceremony in February 2020.
Speaking to The Mirror at the NME Awards, the singer, 28, criticised the ceremony for making the women feel like a ‘subplot’ or ‘warm-up act’ for their male counterparts.
Referring to how the unisex Mastercard Album of the Year and Best Group categories are male-dominated, and the specific awards for men or women, she said: ‘What the f*** is that about?
‘It’s what everyone has been saying. Women don’t just deserve to be in the female categories, we’re not the subplot, the warm-up act, we’re the main event.’
Sexist: Ahead of the 2020 event, Charli XCX accused Brit Awards of sexism as she claimed the ceremony’s male-dominated shortlist made female singers seem like just a ‘warm-up act’
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