Brit Awards to Keep Gendered Categories After Sam Smith Calls for Show to Reflect Society


The ‘Stay with Me’ singer, who has identified as non-binary, urges awards show to ‘celebrate everybody, regardless of gender, race, age, ability, sexuality and class.’

Brit Awards will not make any change in near future. Despite Sam Smith calling for the show to reflect society after being excluded in the gender-based categories at the upcoming 2021 awards, its officials announced that they will keep the gendered categories.

“The BRITs love Sam. Sam won our Critics’ Choice Award (now Rising Star) in 2014 and went on to enjoy incredible international stardom, winning more BRIT Awards and nominations along the way as well as giving us some of the most memorable performances ever,” a spokesperson of the BRITs said in a statement. “Sam is an extraordinary British artist and we agree with what they have said today.”

“The BRITs are committed to evolving the show and the gendered categories are very much under review. But any changes made to be more inclusive need to be just that – if a change unintentionally leads to less inclusion then it risks being counterproductive to diversity and equality,” the representative continued. “We need to consult more widely before changes are made to make sure we get it right.”

The BRITs’ statement came after Sam, who identified as non-binary, spoke up about his exclusion from the awards via Instagram. Sharing a note on Friday, March 12, they first wrote, “The Brits have been an important part of my career, one of my earliest achievements was winning Critics Choice in 2014.”

“Music for me has always been about unification not division. I look forward to a time where awards shows can be reflective of the society we live in,” the English musician went on. “Let’s celebrate everybody, regardless of gender, race, age, ability, sexuality and class.”

The “Stay with Me” singer came out as nonbinary and gender queer back in September 2019. In a since-deleted Instagram post, they declared, “Today is a good day so here goes. I’ve decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out.”

“I’m so excited and privileged to be surrounded by people that support me in this decision but I’ve been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think but f**k it! I understand there will be many mistakes and mis-gendering but all I ask is you please please try,” they further explained. “I hope you can see me like I see myself now. Thank you.”

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