Connect with us

Entertainment

Daddy Yankee, J Balvin, and Other Urbano Artists Call Out Latin Grammys for Exclusion

Published

on

  • Big names in Latin music like Daddy Yankee, J Balvin, Nicky Jam, and others criticized the Latin Grammys for not nominating urbano artists in the show’s main categories. 
  • While some have said this highlights the Latin Recording Academy’s long-running bias against urban music, others say urbano artists should take some responsibility for the lack of nominations since many are admittedly not registered Latin Grammy voters. 
  • The Latin Grammy’s responded by inviting the artists to “get involved with the Academy” and its voting process.

Nominations Released

Some of today’s most popular Spanish-language artists slammed the Latin Recording Academy this week, pointing to the lack of urbano artists nominated in the main categories of the 2019 Latin Grammys. 

The latest nominees were announced on Tuesday, which Academy President and CEO Gabriel Abaroa Jr. described as a “talented and diverse” representation of acts from across Latin America and the Iberian peninsula. 

However, many were disappointed to see that several of the biggest urbano artists were excluded from nominations for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year. 

The urbano genre essentially encompasses various styles like reggaeton, Latin hip-hop, dancehall, trap, and more. There is no doubt that urbano music has reached a greater audience in recent years with both solo projects and crossover collaborations. In fact, a report on the Grammy’s official website even notes that in 2018, urban Latin music dominated streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora. That same year, YouTube released its list of most-viewed videos, with eight of its top 10 being Spanish-language songs.

Critics say the lack of inclusion points to what they call the organization’s longstanding bias against urban music. While the reggaeton industry has voiced their concerns before, they decided to come together and do so much more prominently this year. 

Urbano Musicians Speak Out 

Artists like Daddy Yankee, J. Balvin, Nicky Jam, and others have taken to social media to share the message: “Sin reggaeton no hay Latin Grammy,” which means “Without reggaeton, there are no Latin Grammys.”

View this post on Instagram

Por la cultura y el movimiento !!

A post shared by J Balvin (@jbalvin) on

J Balvin did actually earn a nomination for Best Urban Song, while Daddy Yankee scored a nomination for Best Urban Fusion/ Performance, however, the two still think the Academy could do more to honor their peers in major categories. 

“Despite being nominated, I don’t agree with the way they treated the genre and a lot of my colleagues,” Daddy Yankee wrote on Instagram in Spanish. “Remember one very important thing: Their platform was not the one that created this movement. This goes beyond a prize. This is culture, credibility, relevance, and RESPECT.”

Karol G, who actually won Best New Artist last year but did not earn a single nomination this year, said, “I want to make my support of [Daddy Yankee’s] words clear, independently from being nominated or not, without offending those who are nominated because it’s a moment they’ve worked hard for and deserve it.”

“I still feel the need to support this movement since it’s the only way to make a call that the academy, in the next few years, be more inclusive with a genre that works, is strong, revolutionizes and represents with big accomplishments for our Latin community across the world.”

Many have also pointed to Ozuna as another example of how urbano success isn’t translating over to the award show. The global megastar was just awarded four Guinness World Records for achievements like most videos to reach one billion views on YouTube and most weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart. But this year, the artist’s only Latin Grammy nomination was in the Best Urban Song category. Ozuna has not commented or joined in on the urbano movement at this time as he is currently off of Instagram to focus on his upcoming album.

Latin Grammy’s Respond 

In response to the social media call outs, the Latin Grammy’s released a statement on Wednesday saying, “The Latin Recording Academy has followed a strict voting process for the past 20 years. The members, through their votes, select what they believe merits a nomination.”

“The Academy has never influenced their decisions, have always honored, and respected their elections, even if there are people who do not agree with the results,” the statement continued. 

“Nevertheless, we hear the frustration and discontent. We invite the leaders of the urban community to get involved with the Academy, to get involved with the process, and to get involved with discussions that improve the Academy. At its core, The Latin Recording Academy belongs to its members, from all genres, and our doors are always open. Together we can all make it work. Let’s do it!”

The response hits on a note that some of the Academy’s defenders have also argued. Some say that urbano artists need to take some of the responsibility for the lack of inclusion since many of their biggest stars have admitted they are not registered Latin Grammy voters. 

Others say many independent labels and producers don’t understand the process of submitting a product or becoming a voter, however, at this point, it seems that both parties would like to address the issue to improve diversity in the future. Whether or not that actually happens will be interesting to see ahead of next year’s show. 

As for now, the Latin Grammy Awards are set to take place on November 14 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

See what others are saying: (MTV News) (Billboard) (Rolling Stone)




Entertainment

Chris Pratt Denies Association With Hillsong Church: “I’ve Never Actually Been”

Published

on

The church has been accused of having anti-LGBTQ ties, something Pratt has taken a hit for. 


Pratt Addresses Hillsong Controversy 

After several years of facing criticism for his alleged ties to the controversial Hillsong Church, actor Chris Pratt said he has “never actually been” to the church and is “not a religious person.”

The Hillsong Church has been condemned for being anti-LGBTQ. The issue received increased attention in 2019 when actor Elliot Page tweeted, “If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed.” 

“Being anti LGBTQ is wrong, there aren’t two sides,” he continued.

At the time, Pratt responded to the allegations by saying that “nothing could be further from the truth” and that he believes “everyone is entitled to love who they want.” He doubled down on his denial in a profile published Tuesday in Men’s Health.

 “I never went to Hillsong. I’ve never actually been to Hillsong,” he told the outlet. “I don’t know anyone from that church.”

Instead, Pratt said he attends Zoe Church in Los Angeles, though not exclusively. According to Men’s Health, Zoe Church is not without its issues. The church was founded by a pastor who produced a film that equated “sexual brokeness” to “same-sex attraction.” Other outlets have also described it as a Hillsong affiliate. 

Pratt faced his biggest wave of backlash in 2020 when Internet memes declared him the “worst” Chris compared to other actors with the same first name, including Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Pine. A slew of celebrities quickly came to Pratt’s defense, arguing the criticism was unjustifiably mean. Their speedy responses only heightened the online conversation and many of the celebrities who spoke out were eventually mocked for doing so. 

Pratt Says He is Not Religious

As for why the Internet has become increasingly anti-Pratt, his alleged association to Hillsong was a major factor. Some also speculated he was a supporter of Donald Trump as he did not join his “Avengers” co-stars for a Joe Biden fundraiser, though Pratt is not usually politically outspoken in either direction.

Pratt believes the backlash against him started when he gave a speech at the MTV Movie Awards in 2018 where he said, “God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you.” He understands why those remarks may have rubbed people the wrong way. 

“Maybe it was hubris. For me to stand up on the stage and say the things that I said, I’m not sure I touched anybody,” he told Men’s Health. “Religion has been oppressive as fuck for a long time. I didn’t know that I would kind of become the face of religion when really I’m not a religious person.”

He went on to explain that in his eyes, there is a difference between adhering to certain customs and believing in God versus using God to control and harm people and justify hatred.

“The evil that’s in the heart of every single man has glommed on to the back of religion and come along for the ride,” he said.

See what others are saying: (Men’s Health) (The AV Club) (People)

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Jodie Sweetin Releases Statement After Getting Pushed By Officers at Pro-Choice Protest: “This Will Not Deter Us”

Published

on

“Love everyone out there in the streets fighting for what’s right,” she wrote on Instagram.


Actress Pushed at Protest

After viral footage showed Jodie Sweetin getting pushed to the ground by officers with the Los Angeles Police Department while attending a pro-choice protest, the “Full House” actress said demonstraters “will continue fighting” for their rights. 

Sweetin was attending a protest off the 101 freeway on Saturday following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Photojournalist Mike Ade, who captured the video, said the actress was “trying to lead a group of peaceful protestors away from the freeway” when officers pushed her. Sweetin was standing on a curb when she was pushed and fell down on the cement road. Ade wrote that she was “fortunately…okay.”

Ade shared a handful of other videos depicting officers using similar tactics on other protesters. As these videos started circulating online, many became outraged by the LAPD’s response to the protests.

Sweetin Addresses Incident

Following the incident, Sweetin released a statement where she said the fight against the court’s decision is not over. 

“I’m extremely proud of the hundreds of people who showed up yesterday to exercise their First Amendment rights and take immediate action to peacefully protest the giant injustices that have been delivered from our Supreme Court,” Sweetin said. “Our activism will continue until our voices are heard and action is taken. This will not deter us, we will continue fighting for our rights. We are not free until ALL of us are free.”

Sweetin also shared footage of the incident and other clips of officers clashing with protesters on her Instagram story. She cheered protesters in a comment on a video of the push shared by a social justice group called The Progressivists.

“Love everyone out there in the streets fighting for what’s right,” she wrote.

According to a statement obtained by Deadline, the LAPD is looking into the matter. 

“The LAPD is aware of a video clip of a woman being pushed to the ground by officers not allowing the group to enter on foot and overtake the 101 freeway,” the statement said. “The force used will be evaluated against the LAPD’s policy and procedure.”

See what others are saying: (Deadline) (Rolling Stone) (The Hollywood Reporter)

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Dave Chappelle Decides Against Having Former High School’s Theater Named After Him

Published

on

“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” the comedian reportedly said.


Theater Named Announced

Comedian Dave Chappelle opted on Monday to not have the theater at his alma mater high school named after him, according to a report from The Washington Post

The Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. previously planned to name its theater in honor of Chappelle, as he is a distinct alum and donor. While Chappelle formerly said such a gesture would be “the most significant honor of [his] life,” he announced during Monday’s naming ceremony that it would bear a different title. 

The school’s theater will instead be called the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression. 

A naming ceremony was initially set to take place in November, but was postponed after the comedian began facing backlash for transphobic jokes in his Netflix special “The Closer.”

Among other things, he said he was “Team TERF,” which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. He also made a joke about Caitlyn Jenner and remarks comparing the genitalia of transgender women to Beyond and Impossible meat.

The jokes embroiled Chappelle in controversy, and reports claimed that some students at Duke Ellington took issue with the comments. When Chappelle ended up visiting the school amid the scandal, Politico reported that one student told the comedian, “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish, you handled it like a child.”

Chappelle Defends Controversial Special 

According to The Post, Chappelle said the criticism against him “sincerely” hurt, but added that “the Ellington Family is my family.” He claimed he did not want the theater being named after him to distract students. 

“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” he said according to Josh Rogin, a columnist for the outlet.

Rogin also tweeted that Chappelle took time out of the ceremony to slam the criticisms levied against him, accusing upset students of promoting someone else’s agenda. 

“These kids didn’t understand that they were instruments of oppression,” he reportedly said. 

“You cannot report on an artist’s work and remove artistic nuance,” Chappelle continued while denouncing the press coverage of his Netflix special. 

According to David Frum, a staff writer for The Atlantic who attended the ceremony, Chappelle suggested he was open to potentially adding his name to the theater at a later date when the community is ready. 

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (Variety) (The Atlantic)

Continue Reading