From banned Kanye to dodgy Marilyn Manson, the 64th Grammys are an absolute minefield of controversy
The music industry's top awards show could prove to be another minefield of controversy just a week after Will Smith's disgraceful Oscars stunt that saw him slap Chris Rock over the weekend.
Organizers for the Grammys -- set to be hosted by Trevor Noah on Sunday night, April 3, in Las Vegas -- will have to walk on eggshells with rapper Kanye West expected to attend with five nominations on the line, albeit he's banned from performing at the event. Rocker Marilyn Manson is also up for an award while embroiled in controversy following multiple accusations of sexual misconduct. What's more? Comedian Louis CK is also nominated as he makes his comeback from harassment allegations several years ago. Meanwhile, the Weeknd is still boycotting the awards, while Drake has withdrawn his two nominations saying he doesn't want to compete for a Grammy this year.
It's worth noting that the timing of the Grammys adds more unpredictability, considering it already has a reputation of being one of the most bizarre nights on the awards circuit. Nonetheless, the Grammys will take place without a performance from Ye after organizers cited his "concerning online behavior." The ban comes after the megastar's ongoing feud with comedian Pete Davidson, who is dating his ex-wife Kim Kardashian, the Daily Mail reported.
West, who scored several nominations for his album 'Donda', is set to face off with singing sensation Taylor Swift in the Album of the Year category with her 2020 album 'evermore.' The two are longtime rivals and grabbed headlines after the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, where West infamously stormed onstage and snatched the mic from Swift during her acceptance speech, before shouting out to Beyoncé's 'Single Ladies' video.
Meanwhile, Manson has earned a spot on the nominee list for Album of the Year for his contribution to Donda, albeit he was removed from consideration as a writer for Best Rap Song due to a technicality. This comes after several women have accused the 52-year-old artist of sexual assault, including ex-girlfriends Evan Rachel Wood and 'Game of Thrones' actress Esme Bianco. Manson, whose real name is Brian Hugh Warner, has vehemently denied the allegations, maintaining that his relationships were "entirely consensual."
Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr defended Manson's nomination earlier this week, saying the Academy doesn't 'restrict' submissions for awards consideration. "We won't restrict the people who can submit their material for consideration," he told The Wrap. "We won't look back at people's history, we won't look at their criminal record, we won't look at anything other than the legality within our rules of, is this recording for this work eligible based on date and other criteria. If it is, they can submit for consideration."
The producer, 53, did not, however, say that controversial artists such as the aforementioned would be welcome at the awards ceremony. "What we will control is our stages, our shows, our events, our red carpets," Mason explained. "We'll take a look at anyone who is asking to be a part of that, asking to be in attendance, and we'll make our decisions at that point. But we're not going to be in the business of restricting people from submitting their work for our voters to decide on."
As mentioned, controversial comedian Louis CK is also nominated for Best Comedy Album for 'Sincerely Louis CK'. The 54-year-old entertainer is currently making a comeback after admitting to exposing himself in front of female acquaintances several years ago. Furthermore, fellow comic Dave Chappelle is also nominated for a Grammy after weathering a storm that came after his controversial jokes on transgenders in the Netflix special, 'The Closer'.
Having said that, Grammy organizers are hopeful that the show will draw a bigger audience despite the controversy-laden roster, after viewership dropped to an all-time low last year, with only 8.8 million watching the awards night.