A group of musicians is threatening to organize a boycott of CBS, network of the 2012 Grammy Awards, after the Recording Academy dropped 31 categories, according to the Associated Press. In April, the Academy announced that the number of Grammy categories would be reduced from 109 to 78, and the group, led by Grammy-nominated Latin jazz musician Bobby Sanabria, charges that this move intentionally and unfairly targets ethnic music. The new Grammy policy has drawn criticism from the likes of Bill Cosby, Herbie Hancock, and Paul Simon.
In a response, the Academy said in a statement: “The Recording Academy’s Board of Trustees and its committees — made up of elected, qualified voting members from The Academy’s 12 Chapter Cities around the country and a broad spectrum of music makers — spent two years researching and ultimately making the decision to restructure the Grammy Awards Categories for reasons that had everything to do with recognizing excellence in music and the integrity of our awards and nothing to do with ethnicity or race. We were up front, transparent, and painstakingly clear about how and why the awards restructuring was done, and any allegations that the process was carried out in secret or without warning are demonstrably false.
“We respect the right of our members to their opinions, and continue to listen to their views with open minds. There is no basis for any kind of legitimate legal claim. We cannot comment on a hypothetical lawsuit.”
CBS declined to comment.