Karwai Tang/WireImageSam Smith is sharing their feelings following the news that U.K.’s BRIT Awards will be keeping gender-based categories this year.
Sam, who came out as non-binary in 2019 and uses the pronouns they/them, posted a statement on social media.
“The Brits have been an important part of my career,” they wrote, adding, “one of my earliest achievements was winning Critics Choice in 2014.”
“Music for me has always been about unification not division,” Sam continued. “I look forward to a time where awards shows can be reflective of the society we live in. Let’s celebrate everybody regardless of gender, race, age, ability, sexuality and class.”
For the past couple of years, there has been talk of the BRITs eliminating gendered categories in a bid to be more inclusive. But The Guardian reports that the awards won’t be going gender neutral ahead of this year’s ceremony in May. In essence, that means Sam would be excluded from the categories.
Following Sam’s post, a spokesperson for the BRITs released a statement to The Guardian, saying, “Sam is an extraordinary British artist and we agree with what they have said today. The Brits are committed to evolving the show and the gendered categories are very much under review.”
“But any changes made to be more inclusive need to be just that — if a change unintentionally leads to less inclusion then it risks being counterproductive to diversity and equality. We need to consult more widely before changes are made to make sure we get it right.”
By Andrea TuccilloCopyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.