Over the weekend, business guru, Steve Stoute, placed a $40,000 ad in the New York Times and provided some constructive feedback on the Recording Academy. Peep a few excerpts from The Hollywood Reporter’s interview:
THR: What was the impetus for your open letter to the Grammys? Was it when Arcade Fire won for Album of the Year?
Steve Stoute: What honestly triggered it was sitting with some really big credible artists after the show, and hearing them complaining that, “This is crazy,” “We need to start our own show,” or “This doesn’t make any sense.” For me, it wasn’t Arcade Fire winning that was the problem, it was them performing twice. After the backstage moment, the production was set for them to perform again. But if Eminem had won, would he have performed again? That’s when it was, like, “This is fake now.”
THR: And that was the intent of the ad?
Stoute: The intent was to point out that the popular artists are used to sell the show and to get ratings. In fact, NARAS publicized that it was the highest rated Grammys since 2001, yet those same artists are not getting the critical recognition they deserve. The Grammys didn’t use Esperanza Spalding in the promos to sell the show. They used Justin Bieber and Eminem. Yet Eminem, who’s nominated for 10 awards, doesn’t win Album of the Year. Arcade Fire does. Like when the Marshall Mathers LP, which has sold 19 million copies around the world and is one of the greatest albums ever made, lost out to Steely Dan. Or when U2 lost to [the] O Brother, Where Art Thou? [soundtrack]. It doesn’t stop.
THR: What would satisfy you and the unnamed artists you’re speaking for?
Stoute: If the voting system was clear and the artists had a chance to vote on themselves in a way that was in fact true. In the film world, no one ever complains about the SAG Awards. People love that show. It’s as credible as credible gets. Even with the Oscars, if King’s Speech beats The Social Network, it’s not like they asked the guys from Social Network to go onstage and perform, and then put the camera on them and say, “…and the winner is not you.”
THR: We’re estimating that the ad cost around $40,000, care to comment?
Stoute: The ad was expensive, but the price pales in comparison to the torture that artists are going through. It wasn’t about spending that kind of money. It’s, how could you not make that statement
Full interview here.