The Brit Awards Called Out for Lack of Female Representation

The Brit Awards Called Out for Lack of Female Representation

It's undeniable that women dominated our playlists in 2022, and it looks like the Brit Awards didn't get the memo.

Following the show's decision to get rid of their gendered categories for their top prizes, there was a glaring omission of women across the board.

Harry Styles, who had previously come under fire for saying that "people like him" don't normally win awards at the Grammys last week, took the stage when accepting the award for Artist of the Year to recognize his privilege. "I’m very grateful and I’m very aware of my privilege up here tonight. So this is for Rina, Charli, Florence, Mabel and Becky. Thank you so much."

Styles was referring to Rina Sawayama, Charli XCX, Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine, former tour support Mabel McKay and dance artist Becky Hill. Several of them used their platform earlier on in the night to call out the awards for lack of representation.

"At the top, it is straight white men," Sawayama said in a red carpet interview. "So the more you have of that, the more you are going to get amplified voices that are that. It is just something that we really need to work on because artists are diverse. There is a lot of diversity in artists but there is not enough diversity in record labels.'

Likewise, English alt-rock duo Nova Twins spoke up about how deep the lack of representation goes, saying, "It is putting them as headliners at festivals. Women, especially bands, you don’t see them headlining festivals. They always regurgitate the same male acts." They also said that acclaimed rapper Little Simz should have been in the best artist category.

One of the most outspoken critics of both the Brit Awards and the most recent Grammys is Charli XCX. "I heard that the reason that there aren’t any women nominated in the best artist category is that the Brits felt that there weren’t enough women in album cycle," she said. "But I was in album cycle and had a number one, critically acclaimed album, so yeah. That is really all I have to say."

The pop singer had previously called out the Grammys on Instagram for not featuring her in any category after she released her latest album Crash in 2022. Fellow pop transgressor Grimes stepped in to echo her statements, calling the award show "irrelevant."

The Brit Awards have had their fair share of issues over the years. Sam Smith previously called out the show for not being gender neutral after the singer, who came out as non-binary, realized they were ineligible for the gendered categories of Best Male and Female Artist. Sawayama also had the show change their eligibility requirements for artists when her visa made her ineligible for nomination due to being born in Japan despite growing up in London.

Photo by David M. Benett/Max Cisotti/Dave Benett/Getty Images