Despite receiving three Grammy nominations (‘Song of the Year,’ ‘Best Pop Solo Performance,’ and ‘Best Pop Vocal Album’), Taylor Swift is now reportedly exiting this year’s ceremony.
“Taylor Swift will not attend the 2020 Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, January 26,” US Weekly reported this morning.
Separately, Variety is now reporting that Swift canceled a ‘secret performance’ at the Grammy Awards. Swift was apparently designated only as ‘TBA’ on the program, but has since been removed.
There’s also a suspicious development leaking from CBS, which is broadcasting the event. As part of its pre-event teasers to the media, the network sent snapshots of numerous seating charts, one of which featured Taylor Swift. That was one of several pre-event seating charts, which were clarified as ‘tentative,’ though the picture featuring Swift’s position was removed this morning.
There was no explanation for the removal, beyond a general reference to the ‘tentative’ nature of the seating arrangements.
If confirmed, the 30-year-old’s decision is the latest in a series of very public setbacks for the Recording Academy, which has found itself marred in controversy at the worst possible time. Now, as part of the extremely public war at the Academy, an ugly snub against Swift has emerged.
On January 16th, just ten days before the 62nd Annual Grammys, Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan was placed on administrative leave; a “formal allegation of misconduct” was cited as the reason for her abrupt ouster.
Dugan returned fire in a big way, filing a discrimination and sexual-harassment claim and alleging that the Recording Academy concealed sexual crimes committed by former CEO Neil Portnow. Portnow, accused of rape and a subsequent cover-up, promptly issued a public statement denying the accusations.
This high-profile back-and-forth has, in many ways, overshadowed the awards ceremony itself. And now, with Swift rumored to boycott, it appears that far-reaching implications will extend not only into Sunday night, but through the foreseeable future.
Dugan took to the morning-show circuit this week and claimed that the Recording Academy’s nomination process is wrought with favoritism and conflicts of interest.
Specifically, Dugan said that Swift’s Reputation was supposed to be nominated for ‘Album of the Year’ in 2018, but another album, which had received fewer votes, ultimately supplanted it. Additionally, Dugan alleged that Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande were snubbed for 2020 ‘Song of the Year’ nominations because of an artist’s behind-the-scenes influence.
Dugan didn’t name this individual, but as there are only eight nominations for ‘Song of the Year,’ it’s possible that his or her identity will eventually be pinpointed.
The Recording Academy released a lengthy response to Dugan’s allegations about the voting process, stating that it “is led in a fair and ethical manner and that voting members make their choices based solely on the artistic excellence and technical merits of eligible recordings.”
The Grammys’ 2020 host, Alicia Keys, has canceled all pre-event interviews, and Beyoncé, who was nominated for four awards, may also join Swift in skipping the ceremony (more on that ahead).
… and more as this develops.