Queen’s Brian May is one of the latest people to criticise the BRIT Awards’ decision to do away with a gender-based system for award categories.
This week (Nov. 22), we learned Artist of the Year and International Artist of the Year awards would replace the tradition Male and Female categories of the past. The change will go into action next year.
May spoke to The Mirror about how the decision was part of a “frightening” trend. “It’s a decision that has been made without enough thought,” May says. “A lot of things work quite well and can be left alone.
“I get so sick of people trying to change things without thinking of the long-term consequences,” he adds. “Some of these things are an improvement, some of them are not.”
He went on to say that he believed Queen wouldn’t be considered diverse enough by today’s standards to receive recognition at award ceremonies.
“We would be forced to have people of different colors and different sexes and we would have to have a trans [person]. You know life doesn’t have to be like that. We can be separate and different.”
The decision to change the BRIT Awards’ system came after non-binary singer Sam Smith criticised the awards for a lack of inclusivity.
“Music for me has always been about unification not division,” Smith says in a since-deleted post. “I look forward to a time where awards shows can be reflective of the society we live in. Let’s celebrate everybody regardless of gender, race, age, ability, sexuality and class.”
According to NME, BRIT Chair Tom March commented on the new categories, saying, “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.”
Four new genre categories have also been added: Alternative/Rock Act, Hip-Hop/Grime/Rap Act, Dance Act and Pop/R’n’B Act.
Queen is set to resume their postponed Rhapsody tour in Belfast May 27.