Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has described the Brit Awards scrapping male and female categories as a ‘sad decision’.
It was announced that the next Brits ceremony in February 2022 will not feature gender-led categories for the first time in a bid to promote inclusivity.
However, Ms Dorries fears it will lead to female artists not being represented fairly with both men and women set to go head-to-head in the same nominations categories.
During her first appearance before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee since she was appointed Culture Secretary, Ms Dorries said on Tuesday: ‘I have to say it is the first I am aware of it, but I think it sounds quite a sad decision. I would like to see how that would work in terms of fair gender representation.’
After a member of the committee said the decision had been made so that non-binary musicians were not excluded, Ms Dorries added: ‘Again, I can’t give an opinion of that because hearing it from you is the first I have heard about it. Women have been used for a very long time to being…
‘If you wanted to look at who used to win awards for novels and many things in the past, men always dominated, and my concern would be that women were not fairly represented moving forward. So I would just be concerned on the gender balance issue.
Brit Awards 2022 gender-neutral categories
Artist of the Year with YouTube Music
Group of the Year
BRITs Rising Star supported by BBC Radio 1
Best New Artist
Song of the Year with Mastercard
Mastercard Album of the Year
International Artist of the Year
International Group of the Year
Hip Hop/Rap/Grime Act
‘Whereas we know we are going to get best female artist, best female producer, best female whatever, I would be concerned in the future that women were not fairly represented in those awards.’
On Monday, Brits organisers announced that the 2022 nominations will consist of gender-neutral categories including artist of the year and hip hop/rap/grime act, doing away with the likes of British female artist and British male artist.
It will also launch a new award for international artist of the year, celebrating artists solely for their music and work, rather than how they choose to identify or as others may see them, as part of the Brits’ commitment to evolving the show to be as inclusive and as relevant as possible.
Tom March, BRIT Chair and Co-President of Polydor Records added: ‘It is important that The BRITs continue to evolve and aim to be as inclusive as possible. It feels completely the right time to celebrate the achievements of artists for the music that they create, and the work that they do, irrespective of gender.
‘I’m really excited to launch four new genre awards, which create even more opportunities for artists to be acknowledged for the brilliant music they create and produce, and give music fans the chance to get involved and vote to support their artists and help them to win a Brit.
‘The 2022 show is shaping up really well, Mo is going to be an excellent host and I am thankful to him along with Clara and Maya for being part of this year’s Brits.’
Comedian Mo Gilligan has been announced as the new Brit Awards host, replacing Jack Whitehall.
The Brit Awards 2022 will take place on Tuesday, February 8 at London’s O2 Arena.
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