The BRIT Awards are the British equivalent to the Grammys in the United States. It awards excellence in music to a variety of British artists in addition to recognizing international nominees. This year’s BRIT awards included wins from Dua Lipa who won British Female Solo Artist to Stormzy’s album Gang, Signs & Prayers that lodged the award for British Album of the Year.
Despite celebratory moments, the 2018 BRITs came under scrutiny for a voting mishap regarding the award for British Video of the Year. On Twitter, popular British girl group Little Mix were winning by a landslide and were head to head with 3 former One Direction members. Until the very last second when the polls closed, Little Mix were still on the list as being at the #1 spot thus supposedly earning them the award.
After a few minutes, the winner was revealed to be Harry Styles and his video for Sign of the Times. Fans became outraged and some quickly posted multiple screenshots proving the girl groups’ win on Twitter.
So @BRITs, Little Mix clearly won. What's your explanation? Rigged or y'all really just can't handle a girl group breaking records? (credit to the owner) #BRITsAreRigged #BRITs pic.twitter.com/vK2bhaD7zh
— 𝐋𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐥𝐞 𝐋𝐞𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐅𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐬 (@ShadyMixerFacts) February 21, 2018
Please tell me how little mix did not win that award they was number 1 when the vote ended!!!!! Little mix got their award robbed! They deserved it more than anyone and well this screenshot is pure proof they were winners!!!!!!!! @BRITs @LittleMix pic.twitter.com/szy014bdRb
— courtney (@courtney6698) February 21, 2018
This isn’t the first time the BRITs have been accused of rigging awards. Two decades ago when the Spice Girls were at the top and Spicemania was flourishing, the quintet lost the award for British Group to the Manic Street Preachers. The winner for British Group has been purely male-dominated since its inception back in 1977.
Two years ago, the BRITs were also slammed for not showcasing the excellence of black artists. Many artists had much to comment about the 2016 nominations including Lily Allen. The Grammy-nominated artist stated:
The voting academy consists of 1000 music industry figures and here lies the problem. Music industry figures don’t necessarily care about music, they mostly care about
themselves, they vote tactically for their labels artists to win or so that their competitors at other labels DON’T. Awards mean £££ and promotions. I don’t think music industry figures (or people that work at major labels) even look at artists as artists when it comes to voting for these things.
The 2016 BRITs backlash ensued a hashtag response by thousands of viewers #BritsSoWhite. Due to a heavy response, the awards ceremony decided to shake things up by making the panel of judges more diverse. The 70% men and 30% women ratio was switched up to a 52% male and 48% female ratio. This also included a 17% BAME ratio, making it the most diverse voting academy in Brits history.
The BRIT awards have not yet commented on this year’s issue.