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Marilyn Manson Scores Two Grammy Nominations; Recording Academy CEO Offers Defense

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Nominations for this year’s Grammys were announced yesterday. And in all the excitement over the nominees for Best Metal Performance and Best Rock Performance, we failed to notice that Marilyn Manson also scored TWO NOMINATIONS: one in the Album of the Year category, for his contributions to Kanye West’s recent release, Donda, and one in the Best Rap Song category, for the Donda cut “Jail.”

Which is understandably troubling, given that at present, Manson is being sued by approximately eighteen-trillion women for various forms of abuse. Just seems like he’s, I dunno, not the kinda dude we oughta be celebrating right now.

Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of The Recording Academy (a.k.a. “The People Who Give Out the Grammys”) has now defended Manson’s nomination to The Wrap. The TL;DNR version of Mason’s argument is that it isn’t The Recording Academy’s job to tell its members who they can and cannot vote for, and just because someone is nominated doesn’t mean they’re welcome at the award ceremony itself:

“We won’t restrict the people who can submit their material for consideration. 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.

“What we will control is our stages, our shows, our events, our red carpets. 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.”

Which seems simultaneously like a fair answer and total bullshit. I get not wanting to take responsibility for who does and does not get nominated based on any criteria other than whether or not their work was technically eligible; they’re not gonna start vetting every name that might get nominated just in case.

But I’ve got a thousand bucks that says if Kanye shows up at the Grammys with Manson in his entourage, no one is going to keep the shock rocker out of the venue. If Kanye is invited to perform during the ceremony and he brings Manson up on stage with him, no one is going to tell him he can’t do that.

What I’m saying is, even if you think that the first half of Mason’s statement has merit, the second half is pure spin. Kanye’s MAGA horse crap might turn off voters, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility that the rapper accepts a Grammy award with Manson standing right next to him. Kanye is, by all appearances, both a total lunatic and a masterful self-promoter; that is exactly the kind of stunt he’d pull. And Marilyn Manson, who nows seems to be attempting to pass himself off as Born Again to save whatever is left of his ass, hasn’t said “no” to having his picture taken since he learned to speak.

And if you wanna be even more cynical about it… it’s not out of the question that Mason and his team actually have considered this possibility and are, in fact, counting on it to drum up publicity for the show: remember, last year’s ceremony drew record-low ratings. The chance of Donald Trump’s only Black friend and an alleged rapist proudly accepting a statue might be a good way to make sure people actually tune in this year.

So what happens now? Uh… nothing. They’re not gonna rescind Manson’s nomination at this point, and even if they did, that would probably just give fuel to all the conservatives who wrongfully think their freedom of speech is being impinged upon. The most we can hope for is that enough voters become aware of the situation that Manson doesn’t win anything, and that the television ratings for the ceremony continue to plummet.

I would, however, suggest this silver lining: no one is gonna remember who won which award in five years, let alone ten, twenty, thirty, and beyond. Art survives or it doesn’t. Expensive tchotchkes manufactured to bolster the egos of the rich and famous end up as paperweights.

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