On Friday, it was announced that the Recording Academy will change its nomination process for the 2022 Grammy Awards, eliminating the "secret committees" that finalized nominations in many categories. The Weeknd, one of the most vocal opponents of those committees, has since responded to the rule change, sharing that despite the Recording Academy's decision, he still plans on boycotting the Grammys in the future.
"Even though I won’t be submitting my music, the Grammys’ recent admission of corruption will hopefully be a positive move for the future of this plagued award and give the artist community the respect it deserves with a transparent voting process," he told The New York Times in a statement. He added to Variety that "the trust has been broken for so long between the Grammy organization and artists that it would be unwise to raise a victory flag."
He continued, "I think the industry and public alike need to see the transparent system truly at play for the win to be celebrated, but it’s an important start. I remain uninterested in being a part of the Grammys, especially with their own admission of corruption for all these decades. I will not be submitting in the future."
The singer initially announced his boycott in March 2021 after he was snubbed from the 2021 ceremony following a record-breaking 2020 that included his incredibly successful album After Hours and its single "Blinding Lights," which became the most-streamed single of the year. He told The New York Times, "Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys."
The "secret committees" were groups of 15-30 music industry members who whittled down initial nomination choices for 61 of the Grammys’ 84 categories, a process that has been criticized for conflicts of interest and pushing private agendas. Now, the final pool of nominees for nearly all categories will be determined by a majority vote of Academy voting members. After he was snubbed from the 2021 nominations, The Weeknd tweeted, "The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans, and the industry transparency."
Musicians had taken issue with the committees for years, particularly Black artists who were often celebrated in specific genre categories but absent in the four most prestigious — album, record and song of the year and best new artist. In a statement, Harvey Mason Jr., the interim chief executive of the Recording Academy, called the decision to eliminate the committees part of "a year of unprecedented, transformational change" at the Academy.
"This is a new academy, one that is driven to action and that has doubled down on the commitment to meeting the needs of the music community," he said. The committees are being eliminated for the four top prizes and all genre categories, but review panels will remain for 11 craft categories, including production, historical recordings and more.