“We try to be objective about something that is subjective. The overall infrastructure that we implemented seems to work well.”
GRAMMY AWARDS CUTS UPHELD BY COURT
Recording Academy’s Decision to Remove Categories Given Legal OK
May 1, 2012
TheGrammy Awards’ reduction of categories has withstood a lawsuit by a disgruntled musician.
Last year, theRecordingAcademycut the number of awards given out from 109 to 78, consolidating its R&B, American roots music, classical, Latin, jazz, country, pop and rock fields.
Musicians and music activists raised their voices in protest, with a number of artists, including Latin jazz musicianBobby Sanabria, launching a class action suit to rescind the changes.
Yesterday, aNew Yorkjudge dismissed the suit, which had argued the cuts would hurt artists’ careers and unfairly targeted niche categories. Sanabria said he and his lawyers would review the decision and intended to file an appeal.
“The reason we did this is because we believe in the academy,” Sanabria told theL.A. Times. “This past year, all of us were left out in the lurch—all of the people eliminated in terms of 31 categories. You can’t have 6,000 musicians competing for one Grammy. You could, theoretically have that, but it’s just unfair. For example, the traditional roots music category is about six different genres of music, and you have Latin jazz competing against traditional jazz and contemporary jazz. It’s ridiculous. It devalues the music.”
Last spring, theRecordingAcademyreduced seven Latin categories to four. The American roots music field also went from nine categories to five, doing away with Best Zydeco/Cajun Music Album, combining Best Traditional Folk Album and Best Contemporary Folk Album into the catch-all Best Folk Album.
TheRecordingAcademywill meet in late May to discuss any changes to the 2013 Grammy Awards telecast. PresidentNeil Portnowpraised the judge’s decision in a statement and said that he did not anticipate any massive overhauls to next year’s nominations and awards.
“I would anticipate there would be some changes this year, but what I don’t think will change will be the overall restructuring,” Portnow said. “We found a different way to categorize and to look at this very challenging process. We try to be objective about something that is subjective. The overall infrastructure that we implemented seems to work well. I think there will be individual tweaks and adjustments based on a review of how it went last year and what’s going on in music.”