Louis C.Ok.’s Grammy win for finest comedy album on Sunday was his first main award since a 2017 scandal wherein he admitted to a number of incidents of sexual misconduct. The award was offered through the Grammy Premiere Ceremony previous to the primary telecast. The comic wasn’t current on the MGM Grand Convention Marquee Ballroom in Las Vegas to simply accept the award in particular person. (Many winners of those non-televised awards are no-shows on the Premiere Ceremony.)
Even so, the actual fact that he received has stirred controversy and raised questions. How may he win, particularly when the Recording Academy has been working additional time to spice up the variety of ladies and different underrepresented teams within the Academy?
The easy, if fairly glib, reply is that his Sincerely Louis CK bought extra votes than any of its rivals – Lavell Crawford’s The Comedy Vaccine, Chelsea Handler’s Evolution, Lewis Black’s Thanks for Risking Your Life, Nate Bargatze’s The Biggest Common American and Kevin Hart’s Zero F****s Given.
There isn’t any mechanism or precedent for the Grammys to not permit a controversial determine to be nominated.
Harvey Mason jr., the Recording Academy’s CEO, addressed the controversy stirred by nominations for Louis C.Ok., Dave Chappelle and Marilyn Manson when the sixty fourth annual Grammy nominations have been introduced final November.
Requested about it by The Wrap’s Brian Welk, Mason mentioned the Recording Academy doesn’t take private historical past into consideration when figuring out eligibility for its awards. “We received’t limit the individuals who can submit their materials for consideration,” Mason mentioned. “We received’t look again at individuals’s historical past, we received’t have a look at their prison report, we received’t have a look at something apart from the legality inside our guidelines of, is that this recording for this work eligible primarily based on date and different standards? Whether it is, they will submit for consideration.”
However he additionally added: “What we’ll management is our phases, our exhibits, our occasions, our crimson carpets. We’ll check out anybody who’s asking to be part of that, asking to be in attendance, and we’ll make our choices at that time. However we’re not going to be within the enterprise of limiting individuals from submitting their work for our voters to determine on.”
The Academy invited Bargatze to function a presenter on the Premiere Ceremony – worthwhile publicity for somebody at his profession stage.
However how did C.Ok. win anyway, even carrying that baggage?
Grammy voters usually gravitate towards acquainted names, particularly in “down-ballot” classes. This was Louis C.Ok.’s fourth nomination, and third win, within the class. He additionally received for Hilarious (2011) and Stay at Madison Sq. Backyard (2015). C.Ok. is one in all solely three comedians to win within the class 3 times since 2000, together with the late George Carlin and Chappelle.
Two different nominees within the class this yr have been additionally repeat nominees. This was Black’s sixth nod within the class (he has received twice) and Hart’s second (he has but to win).
C.Ok. additionally caught a break when the Recording Academy dominated that Bo Burnham’s Inside (The Songs), the largest hit of the yr on Billboard’s Comedy Albums chart, didn’t meet the factors to compete within the class. As a substitute, Inside (The Songs) vied for a nomination for finest compilation soundtrack for visible media, a class usually reserved for authentic music composed for movies, TV exhibits and video video games. It wound up not even being nominated there, although a tune from the venture, “All Eyes on Me,” was nominated for, and received, finest tune written for visible media. As well as, Inside was nominated for finest music movie (however misplaced to Summer season of Soul).
The Academy has a brand new rule in place, informally known as “the ten/3 rule,” which was meant to chop down on the observe of voters roaming across the poll and voting in classes wherein they’re not specialists. All voting members might vote within the so-called Huge 4 classes – album, report and tune of the yr, plus finest new artist. After that, they might vote in not more than 10 different classes — chosen from not more than three different fields.
Finest comedy album is the one class within the comedy area, so a voter would have had to make use of up one in all their three fields to vote there. (There are 24 fields, not counting the Normal Discipline, which homes the Huge 4 classes.)
So it’s honest to say that voters within the comedy neighborhood supported C.Ok., regardless of the controversy. Voters from exterior the comedy neighborhood weren’t possible to make use of up a area simply to ding him.
Earlier than the scandal, C.Ok., 54, was some of the profitable comedians of his period, success that was mirrored in awards. He has obtained six Primetime Emmy Awards (although none since 2015), three awards from the Writers Guild of America (although none since 2014), three Peabody Awards (although none since 2016), and a Display screen Actors Guild Award for excellent ensemble forged in a movement image for his function in American Hustle (2013).
C.Ok.’s admission that he had repeatedly uncovered himself to ladies with out their consent, which adopted the publication of an exposé in The New York Occasions, induced swift backlash. His 2017 movie I Love You, Daddy was pulled from distribution previous to its launch. His stand-up profession additionally got here to a brief halt.
In 2020, C.Ok. launched a brand new comedy particular, Sincerely Louis CK, on his web site. It’s the album from that particular that introduced him his third Grammy. In 2021, he launched into a global comedy tour and launched a brand new comedy particular, Sorry, once more on his web site.
Chappelle, in the meantime, has confronted backlash for transphobic feedback that he made in his Netflix stand-up particular The Nearer. He was Grammy-nominated this yr for finest spoken phrase album (consists of poetry, audio books & storytelling), alongside poet Amir Sulaiman, for 8:46, however they misplaced to actor Don Cheadle for Carry On: Reflections for a New Technology from John Lewis.
Did the controversy over his jokes harm Chappelle’s probabilities, or was respect for Lewis, a civil rights icon, and appreciation for the job Cheadle did on the venture, merely an excessive amount of to beat? The controversy definitely didn’t assist.
The Recording Academy declined to remark for this story past referring to Mason’s feedback from final fall.