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The Sting

The Student News Site of Azle High School

The Sting

The Student News Site of Azle High School

The Sting

Opposing Viewpoints: Are Award Shows Bops or Flops?

Luke Petersen
Senior Kristina Birkeland and junior Hanna Goodrich both hoped for different results for the Grammys Album of the Year award. Senior Brooklyn Critchley-Gray was please with Taylor Swift’s win.

Award Shows: The Heart & Soul of the Entertainment Industry by Luke Petersen

For decades award shows, such as the Grammys, Tonys, Emmys, VMAs, BET Awards and the Oscars have all given prestigious trophies to the top artists, filmmakers, actors and actresses of our generation. Many of those in the entertainment industry hope to one day be selected by the Academy for their impact on the social sphere and trailblazing performances through the years.

Viewers from all around the world tune in to jam along with the musical guests, watch celebrity reactions and root for their favorite artists—some even watch in anticipation of a new Taylor Swift album announcement or a major snub in one of the categories.

I for one loved getting to anticipate the result of the Grammys’ Best New Artist award, which contained two artists who are currently ruling my Spotify streams: the indie-country-folk phenomenon Noah Kahan as well as the lyrical genius and ginger icon Ice Spice. Even though neither ended up winning the award, I still cheered on the awe-inspiring Victoria Monet and began listening to her music.

Some people view award shows as unnecessary and detrimental to the music and film industries because of the occasionally problematic nature of live broadcasting — think of the infamous incidents such as Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars, Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 VMAs or comedian Jo Koy’s abysmal jokes about the Barbie movie at this year’s Golden Globes. However, these controversies are what many would consider some of the greatest moments in modern entertainment. These incidents get people talking about the artist, more listeners streaming their music or movies and inspire artists to create some of their best work in response.

From an artist’s perspective, award shows offer a chance for them to add not only a trophy to their collection but also to achieve recognition for the countless hours and pure emotion they put into their work. This means a lot for many younger artists who grew up watching these shows imagining themselves hoisting a golden man or record player—which was evident when an artist like SZA ran up onto the stage, excitement beaming on her face, when her name was called for her first ever Grammy.

All in all, these shows captivate audiences for not only the award-giving but also for the heart-wrenching musical performances, live TV controversies and displays of emotion from major entertainment figures. Despite there being some occasional bad moments in the award shows, the good they do for both the entertainment industry and the viewers cannot go overlooked.


The Detriments of Award Shows by Nova Wang

In the past, award shows, including the Emmys, Grammys and Oscars, were seen as great opportunities for many in the entertainment industry to gain more attraction and recognition for themselves while having a chance to gain a glorious achievement through a trophy to commemorate the hard work that one has put in.

Now, however, awards shows seem to progressively become more focused on drama to gain more attraction from viewers around the world since most, if not all, award shows need either cable service or a streaming platform for viewers to watch. The focal shift is a result of the increase of award shows which increases competition and pressure to appear to be interesting for higher revenue and ratings.

Incidents such as the Will Smith slap in 2022 at the Oscars and the Joy Koy remarks about Taylor Swift and the Barbie movie at the recent Golden Globe award show, whether staged or genuine, the viewership and ratings when both instances occurred increased by a heavy percentage compared to the previous year for each respective award show. These incidents including many others show that award shows focus on the attraction of the consumer rather than the craftsmanship from artists and people from the entertainment industry.

While artists, film producers and many others in the entertainment industry can gain recognition through nominations and winnings in their own categories many others are ripped from that opportunity as a result of the voting system for awards shows. More often than not, countless award shows use big artists’ names for nominations just for them to lose the award to a less popular creator even if the more popular artist gained achievements through their music such as being in the higher range of the Billboard 200, or other ratings system. This method, again, feels like a tactic to gain more traction on their platform for more ratings and revenue.

Many artists, such as Halsey and The Weeknd, called out the Grammys due to how nontransparent the voting process was, along with the lack of diversity when looking at past winners at the Grammys and other shows.

Overall, award shows can help bring attention to new creators and people in the entertainment industry. However, on most occasions, the shows solely care about the ratings and revenue that they can gain at the expense of recognition for those who deserve it.

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About the Contributors
Luke Petersen
Luke Petersen, Co-Editor-In-Chief
im a junior who loves indie rock and earth tones :)
Nova Wang
Nova Wang, Intern
I am a junior who likes music, reading, and creating. :]

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