On Saturday, Halsey became the latest artist to go after the Recording Academy over perceived snubs. Halsey, who didn’t receive a single nomination for her album Manic, alleged the whole process is corrupted by behind-the-scenes politics and “bribes” that are just subtle enough to “not” be considered bribes.
“I’ve been thinking and wanted to choose my words carefully because a lot of people have extended sympathy and apology to me since the Grammy nominations,” she wrote in a post for her Instagram story, as captured by Variety.
“The Grammys are an elusive process. It can often be about behind the scenes private performances, knowing the right people, campaigning through the grapevine, with the right handshakes and ‘bribes’ that can be just ambiguous enough to pass as ‘not bribes.’ And if you get that far, it’s about committing to exclusive TV performances and making sure you help the Academy make their millions in advertising on the night of the show,” she explained.
From there. she continued by clarifying that past winners haven’t always been the beneficiaries of said shady deals, before specifically naming The Weeknd, in addition to her latest album as a couple of examples of this year’s slights.
“Perhaps sometimes it is (!!!) but it’s not always about the music or quality or culture,” she continued. “Just wanted to get that off my chest. @theweeknd deserves better, and Manic did too [woman shrugging emoji] perhaps it’s unbecoming of me to say so but I can’t care anymore. While I am THRILLED for my talented friends who were recognized this year, I am hoping for more transparency or reform. But I’m sure this post will blacklist me anyway.”
You can see a screenshot of her post here.
The Weeknd meanwhile, said the awards show “remains corrupt,” while asking for transparency regarding the whole nominating process.
Those allegations actually did elicit a response from the show’s interim chief/president, Harvey Mason Jr.
“For The Weeknd, in every year you only have a certain amount of people you can nominate for each category,” Mason said to Billboard. “… We are excited about some of the other categories where he was nominated. It’s never easy to tell where people are going to land.”
He also described the nomination process to Variety later on in the week, saying: “… All the records get the fairest of fair shakes. We listen to all the music — even an album, you’re listening to almost the whole album, it takes I don’t know how many hours,” he told them. “It’s a long, arduous process and people take pride in it. The people in that room care: there’s no agendas in there, there’s no ‘let’s snub this person’ or that person. It’s about. ‘Let’s try and find excellence.'”