- Grammy nominations were released this morning, with Lizzo leading the count at eight.
- The news comes a day after the nomination counts were believed to have been leaked on the Grammy’s website.
- There were many questions surrounding song eligibility, seeing as Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” was nominated several times, despite first being released in 2017.
- There was also debate around potential snubs, like BTS, who did not get any nominations.
Nomination Counts Leak
Lizzo led Wednesday’s Grammy nominations as many had expected thanks to a suspected nomination count leak that happened a day before the official list was announced.
Lizzo earned eight nods, while Billie Eilish and Lil Naz X picked up six. Ariana Grande followed close behind with five. These numbers confirmed fan theories that the Grammys accidentally released nomination counts since they matched up with the information that appeared online Tuesday.
The Grammys website has pages for nominated artists. On those pages, you can see how many wins and nominations each artist has. As of yesterday, Grande had been nominated for six Grammy awards. For a period of time, however, fans saw that number increase to 11. Similar instances occurred for Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and more. Many fans assumed that these totals reflected nominations that tat the time, had not been announced.
The updated number accounts did not stay up throughout all of Tuesday. The numbers were eventually edited to show their correct totals. On Wednesday, after nominations were announced, the updated counts went live again.
The leaks were not the only controversy surrounding the nominations. With Lizzo’s strong lead came questions about her eligibility for certain categories. Her eight nominations include Best New Artist, Album of the Year for Cuz I Love You (Deluxe), as well as Record and Song of the Year for “Truth Hurts.”
There are a number of reasons why Lizzo’s 2017 hit was eligible this year. When it comes to Song of the Year, the Grammys says a song can be considered “if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the Eligibility Year.” Since “Truth Hurts” didn’t climb the charts until this summer, it meets that criteria.
It also meets standards because it had never been submitted for a Grammy in the past, and even though its first release was in 2017, it also appeared on the deluxe version of Lizzo’s 2019 album Cuz I Love You.
Many also had similar questions about Lady Gaga and the A Star is Born Soundtrack. The album, along with songs on it, received three nominations this year. It’s biggest song, “Shallow,” already earned itself two wins at last year’s ceremony, raising more questions about eligibility.
The answer is pretty straight-forward. The Shallow was released as a single for the film early enough to compete last year. The full album, however, was released later and only made the cut for the 2020 window.
BTS and Taylor Swift Snubs
A lot of discussion on the nominations also centered around artists who were believed to have been snubbed from nominations. Many BTS fans were upset the band did not get any recognition from the Recording Academy.
Their 2019 album Map of the Soul: Persona sold over four million copies and became the best-selling album in South Korean history. Many fans think this merits attention from the Grammys.
This is not the first time BTS fans have been upset by the way American award shows treat K-Pop music. Earlier this year, the MTV Video Music Awards nominated them in a controversial new Best K-Pop category instead of just nominating them in the major slots.
Fans are not the only ones pointing out that BTS has had a crazy year in terms of commercial success just for it to not translate into Grammy nominations. Rolling Stone published a piece saying that the Grammys “failure to acknowledge K-pop at awards shows stands in stark contrast to the music industry’s day-to-day reality.”
Their report also noted that over the past year, major American labels have all worked to add a K-Pop act to their slate. Elias Leight, the author of the piece, said that this goes further than just BTS. He said that it shows the Grammys has a blindspot when it comes to acknowledging the market for international music.
“The problem extends beyond BTS: American listeners are ranging more widely than ever before, increasingly enthralled by singers from South Korea, but also by artists from Nigeria, Colombia, and Spain,” he wrote. “But the Grammys, as per usual, lag behind.”
Another snub getting a lot of online attention is Taylor Swift’s seventh album, Lover, not getting nominated for Album or Record of the year. This is Swift’s second album in a row to not be nominated here, marking what some see as a lull for her and the Grammys.
This lull came as a surprise to critics, though. Many expected Lover to be a rebound for her and thought she would get nominated in all the major categories. Swift did earn herself three nominations, but that still is not the comeback that some expected and that fans were hoping for.
Swift’s biggest nomination for Lover is for Song of the Year. She is the only solo songwriter nominated in that category this year. Also at stake for Swift is one of her major records. When she won Album of the Year for Fearless, she was just 20 years old, becoming the youngest person to win the award. 17-year-old Billie Eilish is nominated this year, and would take the crown if she won.o
Women and the Grammys
Another element many are keeping an eye on is something that has long been a contentious point for the Grammys: Its inclusion of women, or lack thereof.
In 2018 the Recording Academy got a lot of flack when only one woman won a televised award. That same year, Lorde was the only woman nominated for Album of the Year, but was also the only artist from that category not asked to perform during the show.
This year will be the first ceremony under the Recording Academy’s first female president, Deborah Dugan. Many are wondering if this will impact the show at all.
As far as nominations are concerned, it appears good for women. Five out of the eight Album of the Year nominations belong to women. Many of the most-nominated artists are also female, which could translate into more female wins and performances come show night.
See what others are saying: (Rolling Stone) (Variety) (The Hollywood Reporter)
“Saturday Night Live” Faces Backlash for Sketch Mocking the Johnny Depp Amber Heard Trial
Many fear that jokes about the case could hurt the everyday domestic abuse survivors that see them.
SNL Mocks Trial
After “Saturday Night Light” parodied the ongoing defamation trial between actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in its cold open this weekend, many are criticizing the show — and media at large — for making a mockery of the case.
Ever since the trial began in April, there has been an onslaught of TikToks, tweets, videos, and other posts turning the happenings in the courtroom into clickbait content. Most of the posts use Heard as a punchline as the #JusticeForJohnnyDepp narrative prevails online.
Depp sued Heard for $50 million over a 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post titled “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.” While she never mentioned Depp by name, many believed the piece referred to previous abuse allegations she had made about him. Depp, however, alleges that Heard was actually the abuser and concocted the claims to ruin his career. She countersued for $100 million.
In its most recent episode, “Saturday Night Live” aired a sketch starring Kyle Mooney as Depp, Cecily Strong as the judge, and Aidy Bryant and Heidi Gardner as lawyers in the case. The sketch took place in the courtroom as the involved parties discussed allegations that Heard defecated in her and Depp’s bed. They then watched “video evidence” of house staffers, played by Kenan Thompson, Ego Nwodim, Melissa Villaseñor, and Chris Redd, finding the fecal matter.
At various points, Strong’s judge said they should continue watching the video “because it’s funny” and she and Mooney’s Depp both said they find the trial “amusing.”
“This trial is for fun,” the judge proclaimed at one point.
Many online did not see the humor in SNL’s parody, arguing that a case involving domestic abuse accusations should not be a punchline. Some said the sketch was “disgusting and desperate.”
“Domestic violence is not a joke. Rape is not a joke,” writer Ella Dawson tweeted. “Abusers using the legal system to continue to terrorize their victims is not a joke. Abusers using accusations of defamation to silence their victims is not a joke.”
“In twenty years people are going to look back at this trial and all of the media coverage and be disgusted,” Dawson continued.
“You’re free to have absolutely no opinion on the Depp/Heard trial, but thinking it’s ‘for fun’ is for someone with a diseased heart and brain,” Meredith Haggerty, the senior culture editor at Vox, wrote.
Many felt that regardless of how someone feels or who they support in this case, those making fun of Heard are “making a joke of victims everywhere.”
Criticism of Media’s Trial Coverage
Others argued this sketch was part of an overall disturbing trend in the media’s coverage of this case where serious allegations were being played up for laughs.
The hashtag #JusticeForJohnnyDepp has trended on Twitter several times throughout the trial as fans defend the actor. Many also use it to mock Heard, share clips of her crying, and in some cases, spread misinformation about her courtroom claims. The tag is also popular on TikTok, where it has been viewed over 11 billion times as of Monday morning.
Many of the videos involve jokes about the case, memes, fan cams, and other content meant to belittle Heard. On TikTok, the tag #AmberTurd has raked in over 1.6 billion views. Some videos involve animated renderings of courtroom videos meant to make Heard look careless or dumb. Others use audio of Heard alleging that Depp hit her along with silly imagery to make those claims look like a farce. Many involve people making fun of the way Heard has cried on the stand.
Experts have told numerous media outlets that by ridiculing Heard, Depp’s supporters are potentially harming abuse victims that may come across these posts.
“I can’t imagine what this might be doing to someone who may eventually want to seek safety and support,” Ruth M. Glenn, the chief executive officer of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, told NBC News. “Whether it’s Amber Heard or Johnny Depp, how dare us make fun and make light of someone who is sharing something very personal — no matter how we feel about that person.”
The trial is being broadcast live so interested parties can watch it unfold in real-time. The viral clips have allowed the case to become a massive entertainment spectacle.
Public discourse of the trial has sorted people into either “Team Depp” or “Team Heard,” and just a quick glance online will show that Depp has so far won a good portion of public favor. Still, no matter how one views the trial, many think jokes at the expense of Heard’s claims are a bridge too far.
“In the commentary, it’s almost as if people are forgetting that this is real life, that this is not a show that we’re all watching,” Laura Palumbo, communications director at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, told USA Today. “Many victims of domestic violence and sexual assault will go into a courtroom at some point and have an experience that is largely outside of their control, in a setting like this.”
“There’s such a strong desire in the public discourse for [Heard] to be the villain, for her to be the example of the fact that there are victims who have ulterior motives, that there are victims who are not telling the full truth,” Palumbo continued. “It doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of folks thinking critically or wanting to understand the nuances of abuse or of unhealthy relationships.”
See what others are saying: (NBC News) (USA Today) (Rolling Stone)
Actors Equity Association Slams Nude Video Leak of “Take Me Out”
Even though audience members are supposed to have their phones locked away, one viewer uploaded a video featuring actor Jesse Williams naked.
Nude Video From “Take Me Out” Leaks
The Actors Equity Association, Second Stage, and stars of Broadway’s “Take Me Out” condemned a leaked video of the play that captured actors during a nude scene.
Actor Jesse Williams, best known for his role in “Grey’s Anatomy,” is seen fully naked in the clip, which was taken by an audience member despite the show’s no-phone policy. It was uploaded online Monday night.
The Actors Equity Association, a labor union representing thousands of theater workers, addressed the leak on Tuesday via a statement by its president Kate Shindle.
“As actors, we regularly agree to be vulnerable on stage in order to tell difficult and challenging stories. This does not mean that we agree to have those vulnerable moments widely shared by anyone who feels like sneaking a recording device into the theater,” Shindle said. “Whoever did this knew not only that they were filming actors without their consent, but also that they were explicitly violating the theater’s prohibition on recording and distribution.”
Shindle equated the leak to “sexual harassment and an appalling breach of consent.”
“Taking naked pictures of anyone without their consent is highly objectionable and can have severe legal consequences,” Second Stage, which is producing “Take Me Out,” echoed in a statement. “Posting it on the internet is a gross and unacceptable violation of trust between the actor and audience forged in the theatre community.”
Second Stage said it implemented a strict phone-free rule at the show, meaning attendees had to lock their devices in a pouch during the performance. The group said it is “appalled” that this policy was violated. Additional security will be added to upcoming shows to enforce the rules.
Second Stage is also “actively pursuing takedown requests” of the video.
Leak Slammed As Disrespectful
Actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who stars alongside Williams in the play, said the leak showed “disrespect” towards his fellow castmates.
“Anyone who applauds or trivializes this behavior has no place in the theater,” he wrote on Twitter.
The videos leaked on the same day Williams earned a Tony Award nomination for his role in “Take Me Out.” The show is also nominated for Best Play Revival, and Ferguson and Michael Oberholtzer are nominated alongside Williams for Best Featured Actor in a Play.
While speaking on “Watch What Happens Live” following the leak, Williams said the nude scenes were not a big deal.
“It’s a body, once you see it, you realize it’s whatever, it’s a body,” the actor said. “I just have to make it not that big of a deal.”
See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (Entertainment Weekly) (CNN)
Fans Defend Britney Spears’ Nude Instagram Photos As a Form of Empowerment
The singer has been known to post revealing photos since the end of her restrictive conservatorship.
Britney Spears Posts Nude Photos
After Britney Spear’s posted several nude photos on Instagram Monday, fans celebrated the singer’s choice to embrace her body and newfound freedom.
The “Toxic” singer shared a series of photos taken during a trip to Mexico before she became pregnant. In the pictures, she covers her bare chest with her hands and places an emoji between her legs.
“Don’t underestimate the power of doing it myself and shooting with a selfie stick,” she wrote.
Last year, Spears was freed from a conservatorship that restricted her freedoms for thirteen years. During that time her father and others appointed to direct her personal life and estate controlled her finances, career, and medical treatments. Spears claimed she was forced to wear an IUD birth control implant, attend invasive therapy sessions, and take heavy medications. She has equated the arrangement to abuse on multiple occasions.
Over the last year, Spears has frequently posted nude or near-nude images of herself on Instagram, but the latest batch caused some people to criticize the singer. In the comments on her photos, some argue that these posts prove she is erratic or unwell. Some claimed that because she has two children and another on the way, she should not use her post-conservatorship freedom to share images like this. A few even suggested someone needs to “step in” to help Spears.
Fans Defend Spears
Many of her fans found these comments to be inappropriate and invasive, arguing Spears should be allowed to do whatever she wants with her body.
“The most interesting thing about Britney Spears being freed from conservatorship is that now the internet considers itself her conservator,” one person wrote, adding that none of us know the status of her mental health, and therefore, should not comment on it.
Others argued there is a double standard, as many other female celebrities post nude and are not quickly labeled as “crazy” the same way Spears is.
Spears was placed under her conservatorship in 2008, around the same time she was the subject of near-constant public ridicule and harassment from paparazzi. Because public criticism about Spears’ life and choices fueled the effort that led to her father controlling her, many thought it was cruel to again attack her now that she has her life back.
“Britney Spears had her freedom stripped from her for years,” one person wrote. “She can do what she wants now and maybe everyone should shut the fuck up about it.”
“It’s sad more people are concerned about Britney Spears posting nudes than they are about the surveillance in her bedroom, her phone comms being captured in real time (including w her attorney), and her earnings being dissipated as others made millions,” another said.
Many perceive the images as Spears’ way of empowering and expressing herself after being forced to live in silence for so long.
“She doesn’t need your permission to be, love, and express herself,” one Twitter user said.
From the earliest points in her career, Spears was sexualized and exploited, even as a child and teenager. Some found it startling that audiences accepted this version of Spears while she was underage, but are condemning it now that she is making the choice herself as an adult woman.
“It’s the ultimate irony: from the moment teenage girls are old enough to be considered ‘fair game’ we tell women they ‘should’ be sexy,” Victoria Richards wrote in an op-ed defending Spears in The Independent. “Then shut them down the moment they have the self-confidence to show it. We ‘slut-shame’ them, tell them they’re ‘too old’ to look good or assume there must be something terribly wrong. As a woman, you simply cannot win.”