This year’s awards came under criticism for the he lack of diversity among nominees.
Brit Awards bosses have promised to make next year’s ceremony more diverse, after facing criticism over last month’s nominees. At this year’s awards the only non-white nominees were in the international artist categories and chairman Ged Doherty has promised this will not be the case going forward.
The Brit Awards have announced changes to help increase diversity.
In an open letter Doherty said: “There was an elephant in the room at the O2. As chairman of the BPI, the music association which organises the awards, I can tell you that it was sat firmly on my lap.”
“It was an elephant some might characterise as a lack of diversity among the nominees, but which, for me, was more about the lack of recognition of the emerging music that is a huge part of British youth culture.”
Doherty went on to say that the awards had "somehow become disconnected from this heritage of diversity" and that “the playing field for that judgment must also be even. Everyone, regardless of background, should have an equal opportunity to impress.”
In order to help increase diversity the makeup of the Brits membership will change soon and “ahead of 2017, the voting academy will, wherever possible, have equal male-female representation and at least 15% BAME participation.”
“The transparent Brits voting academy is made up of 1,100 people from across the music industry, but, in truth, it needs to be updated,” Doherty continued. “The basis on which people were invited to join was their music expertise.”
“But while this remains a prerequisite, we recognise this is no longer enough, and that facets of diversity such as age, ethnicity, gender and regionality must also be taken into account if the outcome of the nominations process is to be more closely aligned to social trends.”
“We are therefore surveying its makeup, which, I suspect, is largely white and with a bias towards older men. This does not mean that there is an underlying prejudice at play, but the unintended consequence is that emerging genres of music may not be properly recognised.”