Published Nov 24, 2020The Weeknd is taking some very public shots at the Grammy Awards after being snubbed earlier today, accusing the Recording Academy being "corrupt" and saying he's owed an apology.
The Canadian artist born Abel Tesfaye took to his social media accounts to put the Grammys on blast, writing: "The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency."
The post came shortly after TMZ published a story claiming the Weeknd was snubbed by the Grammys for his hugely successful After Hours album because he had agreed to perform the Super Bowl halftime show.
According to the report, the Weeknd's team was in talks with the Grammys for weeks about doing performances at both events, but eventually the negotiations took a nasty turn and led to the artist picking up a total of zero nominations.
In an interview with Variety, Recording Academy chief Harvey Mason Jr. was asked how an album as big as the Weeknd's After Hours could be completely ignored by the Grammys.
"It really just comes down to the voting body that decides," Mason responded. "We have eight nomination slots to fill in [the 'Big Four' categories: Best Album, Song, Record and New Artist], five in others, and the voters vote for their favourites. It's really interesting, though."
He added: "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. 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.'"
UPDATE (11/25, 12:15 p.m.): Interim president and CEO of the Recording Academy Harvey Mason Jr. has further addressed the growing Weeknd controversy, telling TMZ, "We understand that the Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated. I was surprised and can empathize with what he's feeling. His music this year was excellent."
However, Mason downplayed reports that the snub was due to the Weeknd playing the Super Bowl. "To be clear, voting in all categories ended well before the Weeknd's performance at the Super Bowl was announced, so in no way could it have affected the nomination process."