Culture secretary

Britons’ decision to remove gender categories raises concerns – UK Culture Secretary

UK Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has called it “sad” the Brit Awards’ decision to scrap the male and female categories at next year’s ceremony.

She raised concerns that the move, which will instead see gender-neutral gongs, could prevent women from being “fairly represented”.

It was announced on Monday that awards will be presented for Artist of the Year and International Artist of the Year, replacing Best Male and Female Solo Artist and Best International Male and Female Solo Artist.

Sam Smith at the Brit Awards (Ian West/PA)

Making her first appearance before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee since being appointed Culture Secretary, Ms Dorries said: ‘I must say this is the first time I have take notice of it, but I think it seems like a pretty sad decision. I would like to see how it would work in terms of equitable gender representation.

After a member of the committee said the decision had been made so that non-binary musicians weren’t excluded, Ms Dorries added: ‘Again, I can’t give an opinion on this because you l ‘hear is the first time I hear about it.. Women have been used for a very long time to be…

“If you wanted to look at who used to win awards for novels and stuff in the past, men have always dominated, and my concern would be that women weren’t fairly represented in the future. So I would just be concerned about the issue of gender balance.

“While we know we’re going to get top female artist, top producer, top female, I would be concerned in the future that women won’t be fairly represented in these awards.”

The British academy has come under pressure to abolish its gender-specific awards.

It says the move will celebrate artists “solely for their music and their work, rather than how they choose to identify themselves or as others may see them, as part of Britain’s commitment to evolving the show to be as inclusive and relevant as possible”. .

The academy is made up of approximately 1,200 music industry experts across media, artists, labels, publishers, promoters, retailers and more.

Popstar Sam Smith, who won the Critics’ Choice award in 2014 and identifies as non-binary, using the pronouns they/them, had called for the change, saying he looked forward to a time when discounts prices “would reflect the society we live in”.