Responding to the backlash following the recent Grammy nominations for rocker Marilyn Manson and comedian Louis CK, Recording Academy president and CEO Harvey Mason, jr. defended their decision to nominate the two artists.
“We won’t restrict the people who can submit their material for consideration,” said Mason jr., “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.”
Nominated for Best Comedy Album, for Sincerely Louis CK, Louis CK had five accusations of sexual harassment allegations brought against him in 2017 and admitted to them shortly before performing the comedy special. “These stories are true,” said CK. “I have been remorseful of my actions. And I’ve tried to learn from them. And run from them. Now I’m aware of the extent of the impact of my actions. I learned yesterday the extent to which I left these women who admired me feeling badly about themselves and cautious around other men who would never have put them in that position.”
Manson, who has been the subject of multiple sexual assault lawsuits, beginning in February 2021 when actress Evan Rachel Wood publicly accused the singer of sexual abuse, was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Rap Song for his contributions to Kanye West’s recent album Donda and the single “Jail,” respectively, and has denied all allegations.
Mason added that while Manson and CK are nominated it does not mean that the pair will be invited to Grammy Awards ceremony, broadcasting live on Paramount+ and CBS on Jan. 31, 2022.
“What we will control is our stages, our shows, our events, our red carpets,” said Mason, jr. “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.”
Louis CK Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images; Marilyn Manson Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images