The Awards industry has hit the headlines this week, as all eyes have been on the music sector following the Brit Awards announcement it is scrapping its gendered categories. For the 2022 ceremony, a new award, artist of the year, will replace the traditional British male and female solo artist categories. An international artist of the year award will replace the previously gendered categories.
“The Brits has committed to making the show more inclusive,” the organisers said in a statement on Twitter. On its’ website it added the programme was about: “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.”
The news has divided opinions, on the one hand some see it as a reflection of fluid gender spectrum present in society, where people are free to identify as they wish, be that: trans, non-binary and all of the gender identities in between. This year’s Emmy awards acknowledged non-binary actors by allowing them to be named a “performer” rather than an actor or actress.
On the other hand, Queen’s Brian May has hit-out at the Brit Awards over what he describes as an “ill-thought-out” decision, describing the move as a “knee-jerk” response to “woke cancel culture”. We doubt it’ll come as any great surprise the journalist and TV presenter Piers Morgan has also been vocal about his dislike of the change. However, truth be told we think he’d easily be in the running for his own award for being professionally outraged on a permanent basis.
Whichever side of the fence you’re on, it certainly makes for an interesting debate. Which got us thinking about our own awards programmes, where we have some categories that are industry specific such as in our North America and M&M Global interactions where we have: Best Campaign for Automotive, Best Campaign for Travel & Tourism and Best Use of FMCG, Food & Beverage to name but a few. In a similar vein one of our new categories for our Global Awards this year is Best Campaign led by an Independent Agency – which as the name suggests is only open to independent agencies. We’ve chosen to do this as we are strong believers that it’s important they have a platform to illustrate how their independence has allowed them to create a brilliant campaign. On the flip side, many of our most entered categories such as: Impact Award, Collaboration Award and the Brand Bravery Award are just a few of categories that aren’t directly linked to a specific sector or group – as we want to ensure none of the great campaigns miss out on being recognised as they slip through the cracks.
Like many we’ll be watching to see how the rest of this Brits story unfolds and of course who goes on to win these newly ungendered categories. In an already male-dominated industry such as music, we hope they take steps to ensure a diverse group of voices and talent is being celebrated. One thing that we can all agree on is any move that strives to be more inclusive is a winner in our book.