The Brit Awards and Censorship

From David Bowie’s son Duncan providing an emotional speech about his late father to Bradley Walsh and Stormzy confirming their unlikely friendship, The Brit Awards had it all this year. But soon certain elements began to surface signalling interesting things about this year’s ceremony.

Winning the Best British Breakthrough Act, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man beat the likes of Stormzy and Blossoms totally deserving the statue.  Although the wins were mostly dominated by males, Emeli Sandé and Little Mix provided jaw-dropping performances that even got a little bit cheeky when the former X-Factor group dedicated the win of Best Single by cheering “Cheers Lads!” at the end of the track when talking about their ex’s.

Performances from Katy Perry and The 1975 were the most intriguing of the night with Perry having her dancers dress like Donald Trump and Teresa May, whereas The 1975 flashed hateful comments whist they performed, which prompted many to think the show had been hacked, they couldn’t have been more wrong.  Matt Healy even made a statement after the awards about how bands should be much more than the stigma that is placed.

One thing that was noticeable during the performance of Skepta’s ‘Shutdown’ that words such as “p**sy” were muted, it’s TV what do you expect? But this isn’t the first time this has happened, as in 2015 Kayne West’s performance of ‘All day’ was muted so much that he might as well have not been performing.  But this seems to be a recurring theme in the award ceremony. Is it something to do with the genre of music? If the Brits nominate artists such as Skepta for awards then muting their performances is utterly pointless.  There was also a time delay in muting certain words so if you are going to mute these performances, at least do it the right way.

A performance from Ed Sheeran and Stormzy blew the roof off the O2 and it’s something that keeps going viral everywhere you look. Although the issue of muting will stick in the mind, it’s a real kick in the teeth for any artists that have battled with muting. The Brit Awards has often pushed the boundaries in terms of what they can get away with on live television, and seemingly every year someone complains about some part of it.

Since the Brits were first televised it’s been difficult to sort out the censoring problem and it will definitely continue until the day it stops being beamed to us the public.  Regardless of this problem, London’s O2 arena was packed out and there was a clear effort made to promote diversity and artists were showing their feelings towards the politics of the world, and so they should.

Words by Josh Abraham

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