Organisers are “exploring initiatives.”

Brits chairman Ged Doherty has admitted the awards are lacking in diversity and has pledged to address this in time for next year’s ceremony.

“Britain always prides itself on being one step ahead musically,” he wrote in an open letter. “This was not adequately reflected at this year’s Brits, however, and we have been slow to look to ourselves and recognise that the processes behind the awards have somehow become disconnected from this heritage of diversity.”

Doherty was responding to criticisms that the Brit Awards 2016 were dominated by white acts, which prompted the hashtag #BritsSoWhite.

He promised to establish an advisory committee including black and minority members and wants “at least 15% BAME participation in line with national trends, as well as being more diverse with regard to age and regionality, so that it can be more truly representative of modern British music.”

“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. It’s this imbalance that lies at the heart of the criticism directed at the Brits nominations process,” he wrote.

Doherty met with Stormzy last month to discuss his concerns and in the letter said he explained why the MC’s December Top 10 hit ‘Shut Up’ missed out on eligibility by one week, and that it is now eligible for 2017. “I explained that the Brits organisers are, with the guidance of a new advisory committee that includes members of the BAME music community, exploring initiatives that will enable the event to more effectively celebrate diverse, breaking and established talent.

“I was delighted that Stormzy engaged with us on this, and I’ll be approaching other artists and producers with a similar invitation,” he wrote.

 

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