Adele's Brit Awards Gesture: Why Britain Turned A Blind-eye
After a triumphant night at the Grammy awards, photos of Adele began to circulate, cradling her six gramophone-shaped awards in her arms like newborn babies. Earlier that night, her performance of 'Rolling in the Deep' had the entire audience on their feet for a standing ovation. The year before, she had achieved pretty much the same feat at the Brit awards, with her stunning performance of 'Someone Like You.'
Her final Grammys speech was far from an elegant one; clearly overwhelmed by repeatedly hearing her name called out throughout the evening, by the time she won Album of the Year, she was a teary wreck, sobbing gratefully into the microphone. The gathered audience, the majority of whom were Stateside natives, politely overlooked her loud announcement of "oh, I've got snot" as a result of her exuberant crying. Whether or not she was expecting a laugh was unclear but a collective decision appeared to have been made to simply carry on clapping as if she'd never said it.
So last night, as Adele's acceptance speech for Album of the Year was cut short and she flipped her middle finger to the world, another collective decision was hastily made to turn a blind eye. The organisers of the Brits went one step further - presumably to prevent the new Queen of British pop from declaring war on the music and TV industry - and issued an apology to her, explaining that the decision had been made to cut her speech, as the live show had overrun. After all, Adele's important, but she's not more important than the News At Ten.
Mia, on the other hand, isn't a national treasure in her own country, let alone the United States. She makes controversial videos about ginger people getting culled (Ed Sheeran would have been cowering in the corner of the room, had Mia been flipping the bird at the Brits last night). She also makes skittery pop music about Tamil nationalism and ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. Perhaps if Adele had shown the middle finger at the Grammy Awards, the response would have been a different story. In fact, it almost definitely would have been. But then, the Americans know how to keep an awards ceremony running on time and didn't have Damon Albarn's lengthy speech of gratitude to contend with. Adele has, at least, confirmed that it was not her fans that she was 'saluting' with her middle finger, but 'the suits.' That's probably about as politicized as Adele is likely to get at this stage of her career. It seems that there are times that the people of Great Britain are willing to overlook the fact that someone has just made a rude gesture on TV and this was one of them. Presumably, though, she's just been crossed off the list for next year's Super Bowl entertainment.