Queen’s Brian May has ripped into the BRIT Awards for getting rid of male and female categories.
The legendary show revealed earlier this week that they would be bringing in gender-neutral awards for next year’s event.
Organisers believe it’s better to ‘celebrate the achievements of artists irrespective of their gender’ instead of splitting them into male and female groups.
While the move was celebrated by some, it was absolutely slammed by others and Queen’s iconic guitarist was in the latter camp.
In an interview with the Mirror, he was concerned about the decision and reckons it’s another example of trying to appease certain individuals.
“You know life doesn’t have to be like that. We can be separate and different,” he said. “I find it frightening that you have to be so calculating about everything.”
May said if the same perspective was applied to them when they were forming Queen, the band probably would have looked differently.
“We would be forced to have people of different colours and different sexes and we would have to have a trans [person],” he said.
The musician added: “For instance, Freddie came from Zanzibar, he wasn’t British, he wasn’t white as such – nobody cares, nobody ever, ever discussed it.
“He was a musician, he was our friend, he was our brother. We didn’t have to stop and think: ‘Ooh, now, should we work with him? Is he the right colour? Is he the right sexual proclivity?’
“None of that happened.”
The BRITs ditching the male and female categories will allow them to crown an Artist of the Year and International Artist of the Year, which will be ‘celebrating artists solely for their music and work, rather than how they choose to identify or as others may see them’.
Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive, BPI and BRIT Awards said the annual event is designed to be a celebration ‘of British music’ and therefore the awards should reflect British culture.
He’s hoping the changes will mean ‘more new fans, more engagement and a bigger global platform than ever for our amazing artists’.
The announcement comes after numerous celebrities have come out as non-binary and used they/them pronouns – including singer Sam Smith, who is a former BRIT award nominee.
Alongside the new gender-neutral categories, organisers have included four new genre awards: Alternative/Rock Act, Hip-Hop/Grime/Rap Act, Dance Act and Pop/R’n’B Act.