- 05 Jan 21
Alastair Moock, Dog on Fleas and the Okee Dokee Brothers are all removing their names from the final ballot.
Three of the five acts nominated for the 2021 best children's album Grammy Award have declined the accolade, citing frustration over the all-white category.
Alastair Moock earned a nomination for his album Be a Pain, about US figures who stood up for their principles: The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Harvey Milk, Rosa Parks, the Parkland school shooting protesters and more.
Upon hearing the news he was nominated alongside three white male acts and one white woman, Moock couldn't go forward with his nomination:
"After this year, to have an all-white slate of nominees seemed really tone-deaf," he told NPR.
The Boston-based singer-songwriter says a Grammy Award would be the dream, "but I don't want it like this, where the playing field's not even."
"We thought that it was the strongest thing we could do, to stand with people of color whose albums are too often left out of the Grammy nominations," Joe Mailander, one of the Okee Dokee Brothers, said.
"This is not just white guys with guitars playing for kids. We want to welcome all different types of music to this community."
The Okee Dokee Brothers, Moock and Dog on Fleas sent a letter to the Recording Academy asking that their names be removed from the Grammy ballots. They "couldn't in good conscience benefit from a process that has historically overlooked women and artists-of-colour," they wrote.
The nominees met with the Recording Academy's new interim president and CEO, Harvey Mason Jr., and its first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, Valeisha Butterfield Jones.
"We're an organisation that's ready for change, but you know, we're not unique to the challenges of the world and to the challenges of our industry," Butterfield Jones says of the 63-year-old Grammy Awards being revamped.
"I think it's time. You know, we saw in 2020 a racial reckoning. So now, you know, it's, you know, up to us what we're going to do to take real and meaningful action."