As is the case every year, the 2022 Grammy nominations were full of some surprising names, from 11-time nominee Jon Batiste to first-timers like ABBA and Selena Gomez. There were also names that made for a more uncomfortable surprise: Dr. Luke, Marilyn Manson, and Louis C.K., three men accused of varying forms of sexual abuse and assault. Dr. Luke’s three nominations (for writing and producing on Doja Cat’s “Kiss Me More” and Planet Her [Deluxe] as well as Saweetie and Doja Cat’s “Best Friend”) were not his first since Kesha accused him of sexual abuse, after he was nominated for Record of the Year in 2020 for his work on Doja Cat’s “Say So.” But Manson’s two nominations (for writing on Kanye West’s “Jail” in Best Rap Song and Album of the Year) and C.K.’s one (for Sincerely Louis C.K. in Best Comedy Album) were the first since their allegations. Addressing the nominations in an interview with the Wrap, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said the Grammys “won’t restrict the people who can submit their material for consideration.” He continued, “We won’t look back at people’s history, we won’t look at their criminal record, we won’t look at anything other than the legality within our rules of, Is this recording for this work eligible based on date and other criteria?”
The question of if and how awards ceremonies should address problematic nominees has been haunting other shows for the past few months, particularly in relation to Morgan Wallen, the country star who said a racial slur on video in February. While shows like the ACM Awards removed him from contention, the CMAs allowed his albums and songs to be nominated to recognize his collaborators, and the American Music Awards kept him in the chart-based categories — but all shows said he would not be allowed to attend. While Wallen’s case is obviously different from those of musicians accused of abuse and assault (and Wallen, who was also fully eligible, earned zero Grammy nominations), Mason Jr. hinted at similar restrictions on attendance. “What we will control is our stages, our shows, our events, our red carpets,” he told the Wrap. “We’ll take a look at anyone who is asking to be a part of that, asking to be in attendance, and we’ll make our decisions at that point.” The 2022 Grammys take place on January 31.