The Grammys, the MTV Video Music Awards, and the Billboard Music Awards, what do these have in common? These were all shows that our younger selves would stay up late to watch just so we could see our favorite artists perform or see them walk to the stage for their awards.
But now that all we see there are obviously rigged categories, questionable live performances, and deserving Black artists getting snubbed for awards for favorites of the higher-ups, these award shows wouldn’t even be on the television screen for more than 20 minutes.
One problem why people don’t watch award shows today is because of their start time and duration. Most shows have a red carpet pre-show that lasts an hour or so beforehand, which honestly doesn’t add any excitement or value to the show except looking at overpriced outfits to see who dressed the best or, worse, walking down the carpet. Should production take out the appetizer so we can get straight to the main course, there would be more viewers that would possibly stay throughout the entirety of the show.
Another reason for the lack of viewers could be that, in the era of social media, some award shows tend to post live updates for their shows, making it easier to watch from Twitter or Instagram than on cable television. Why would anyone want to actually turn on the tv when the entirety of the show is being posted and live-blogged and can be
comfortably watched from the comfort of your cellular device?
But the problem, the main problem, why these award shows aren’t even worth being played as background noise, is the obvious rigging and stealing of awards from deserving artists, especially from Black and people of color. Many were shocked at the results of the 65th Grammys last weekend, when Harry Styles beat out the likes of Lizzo, Bad Bunny, Kendrick Lamar, and the music icon herself, Beyoncé, for album of the year.
Not to discredit the former One Direction member and his growth as a solo artist, but albums like Special, Un Verano Sin Ti, Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers, and especially Renaissance were talked about continuously throughout the year 2022.
This is not the first instance of an “upset” like this has happened. In 2014 at the 56th Grammys, up-and-coming rapper Macklemore won rap album of the year over Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, and hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, which sparked one of many instances that the Grammys was, in fact, rigged.
The death of award shows giving “validation” to hardworking artists and getting views from nationwide audiences looks to be unavoidable as time goes on; it’s only a matter of if we stop giving them the views and artists stop giving them the attendance