It’s become an annual tradition: people across the country come together to delight in the choosing of what will be seen for years to come as the best in different entertainment categories.
While the important role that African Americans play in terms of hosting and performing at these award shows cannot be denied, the initial recognition seems to fizzle out when it comes time to acknowledge their accomplishments — especially where awards and nominations are concerned.
Progress is being made as we see Black women and men continue to make history, but, it seems their achievements continue to be minimized as they work to change the status quo.
At this year’s Grammy Awards ceremony, Billie Eilish took home the award for Record of the year with her song “Everything I Wanted.” Many were surprised that she was able to win against pop legend Beyonce as well as notable rappers Post Malone, Meghan the Stallion, Dababy and Roddy Ricch.
While her debut song was able to reach unimaginable heights, numerically the decision doesn’t make sense. The clear popularity of the song on various streaming services and apps such as TikTok and Spotify made this decision confusing at best.
Spotify streaming indicates that Dababy’s “Rockstar” and Roddy Ricch out-streamed “Everything I Wanted” by over 200 million streams. The Grammys’ official website says that this decision was made by members of the their recording academy including writers, producers, engineers and songwriters .
\While their identities are not known their dubious decisions lead to questions about the group’s level of diversity and possible bias in the entertainment industry.
At this year’s Golden Globes many were surprised to find that the iconic British drama “Bridgerton” wasn’t even nominated though its diverse cast brought it widespread attention. Though this year’s number of Black candidates was much higher than last year’s, the Golden Globes judges were under fire for the lack of Black candidates within the last award show. The Golden Globes’ former co-host, Tina Fey, even joked about the situation during the awards ceremony.
“The HFPA is made up of about 90 international —no Black —journalists,” Fey said.
While strides have been made to recognize the prominent talent and culture in the Black community, we still have a long way to go.