The Grammys were like, four days ago, so normally we wouldn’t even be thinking about them anymore. We’ve got the Super Bowl this weekend, and then the Oscars after that, so yeah, it feels like the Grammys were six months ago. But you never know when messy drama is going to strike, and today there’s some Taylor Swift/Grammys messiness that we absolutely must talk about.
As you’ll know if you watched the Grammys on Sunday, Taylor Swift was not in attendance. There were reports that she was going to make a surprise appearance to perform her song “The Man,” but it apparently wasn’t meant to be. Because Taylor Swift was never actually announced as a performer, there was no announcement made about the cancelation, but people still speculated about why she chose not to show up. Initially, many thought the reason was likely tied to former Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan, who recently filed a legal complaint against the Academy, alleging gender discrimination and sexual harassment (more on Deborah Dugan in a minute).
But a new Page Six report suggests a much slimier reason for Taylor Swift’s conspicuous Grammy absence. According to multiple “music insiders,” Taylor didn’t go because they wouldn’t promise her that she’d win. This year, Taylor was nominated for three Grammys, but the one she supposedly really wanted was Song of the Year. A Page Six source says that her team “called and wanted to be assured that she would win the Grammy. And while it wasn’t an explicit demand, they certainly were fishing to find out if Taylor was a winner.” What’s more, the source claims, “It was understood in the conversation that if she’s not winning, she’s not coming to the Grammys.”
Another source backed this up, saying “It’s widely known in the industry that [Swift’s team] called to find out if she was getting a Grammy, they wouldn’t tell her, so she didn’t go. It’s not uncommon [for an artist] to want to know. And everyone knows Taylor loves to win, win, win.”
When I first read these quotes about Taylor’s DL phone call, I felt like it was pretty shady behavior. I mean, just go to the Grammys, what else are you doing that day? But thinking about it more, I kind of understand why she would do it. Let’s be real, Taylor Swift is a busy woman, and she doesn’t really need the Grammys at this point in her career. She’s already won Album of the Year twice, and I’m sure the novelty of walking a red carpet has fully worn off. It’s understandable that she wouldn’t really feel like going if there wasn’t something ~in it for her~.
Okay, yeah, so we all know Taylor Swift loves to win, but who doesn’t? To me, the most telling part of these quotes is the bit about how “it’s not uncommon for an artist to want to know.” Of course everyone wants to know if they’re going to win an award before they sit through a four-hour music industry circle-jerk, but what kind of bullsh*t awards voting process is this, if all the artists feel like they can expect to find out (or even influence) the results before the show happens? I thought the only people who were supposed to know ahead of time were like, two accountants with briefcases handcuffed to them?
This report about Taylor Swift comes at a time when the processes surrounding the Grammys are already under intense scrutiny. Last week, ousted Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan filed a huge complaint against her former employer with the EEOC. Along with shocking and disturbing sexual misconduct allegations, she also detailed the corruption within the Grammy systems. According to the complaint, board members have “secret committees” which decide nominations, often favoring artists with whom they have personal relationships. She also accused these committees of prioritizing artists who they want to perform at the Grammys, even if they didn’t get the most votes.
If all of this is true, it doesn’t seem that crazy that a major artist like Taylor Swift would be able to pick up the phone and get some advance info. For what it’s worth, a rep for Taylor fully denied the report, saying that “These statements by anonymous, unidentified ‘sources’ are absolutely 100 percent false and laughable. She just didn’t go to the Grammys. You guys need to calm down.” LOL, leave it to Taylor Swift’s publicist to troll us with a TS lyric in a statement like this. Bravo, I’m impressed.
Personally, I believe the phone call rumor, because I just love a good scandal involving Taylor Swift and a supposed phone call. In all seriousness, given everything we’ve heard about the Grammys behind the scenes, it doesn’t even seem that crazy that artists might do this. If I was going to put myself through the torture that is sitting through the entire Grammys in person, and not being able to switch to Netflix, I’d want to make sure it was going to be worth my while too. Don’t hate the player, hate the absurdly long award show!