• Saturday, Dec 04, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:41 am

Scammys, to be precise

  • Published at 07:01 pm March 23rd, 2021

Tweets started flooding in calling the Grammys 2021 ‘Scammys,' as BTS were clearly milked for their popularity by the Recording Academy

When world famous boy group BTS got nominated for the Best Pop Group for their chart topping Dynamite, all eyes were set on the planet’s biggest musical showdown. This was a historic moment for the group as they were the first musical act from South Korea to be ever nominated for a Grammy. Armies (BTS fans) worldwide were thrilled, and they were confident that the group had the award under their belt.

On the eve of the Grammy, armies around the world stayed up till early in the morning to watch the group receive their long due recognition, and offer their support to the boys. Bangladeshi armies like myself stayed up till 6 am in the morning only to be met with sheer disappointment and disbelief. 

Later that night, tweets started flooding in calling the award show ‘Scammys’. And it’s true. The viewers couldn’t help but notice the inconsistencies within the show. BTS were clearly milked for their popularity by the Recording Academy. Starting from the promotions and interviews, their ‘Dynamite’ performance was hyped to be the most anticipated one of the night. It was the first time the South Korean boy group was getting to perform solo. But the Grammy’s kept pushing back their performance showing ‘Up Next’ up until the very last during their 3.5 hours long broadcast. The fans and critics saw right through what they were trying to do- milking the boy group for their massive viewership power. 

More importantly, the group’s single ‘Dynamite’ debuted number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and kept on dominating the chart for weeks. They became the first South Korean act to top the charts. The boy group has been smashing the charts one after another and created records only to be broken by them. The single’s success made it a clear winner for the category given to the fact that Recording Academy rewards numbers over others. And the numbers speak for themselves. 

They had the AMA, Golden Disc, Mnet, Melon Music, Kid’s Choice all under their belt for one song- Dynamite. It was an eventful year for them and a Grammy was long overdue. When the Grammy nomination came in, we knew it was already theirs. But BTS was snubbed.    

The award show has been accused of being rigged and discriminatory towards artists of colour before. Previously, it has been called out by artists like The Weekend and Nicki Minanj for their discriminatory policies. It’s irrefutable that BTS’ Grammy nomination was an act of tokenism. It’s heartbreaking to see them getting robbed of their recognition when their songs were twice as successful as their western contemporaries.

Even though a Grammy nomination is a major milestone for the Kpop industry and is being celebrated, I refuse to get by the bare minimum. It’s infuriating to see them put in double the hard work and still getting snubbed. One can’t help but wonder how racist and bigoted institutions of such magnitude can still get away with such blatant display of racism. It was clearly evident from the Korean septet’s reaction that they saw it coming. This just goes on to show that they knew they were going to be discriminated against because of their race, and it’s something that they are not unfamiliar with. 

This raises an important question. If the most successful boy group in the world isn’t immune to racism then are we really having the right conversation? This conversation becomes more relevant considering the recent Atlanta shooting and the growing Anti-Asian hate in the West. This shines a light on the racism and xenophobia that reeks within the Western music industry. 

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