Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. addressed controversial comedians Louis C.K. and Dave Chappelle earning nominations for the 2023 Grammy Awards.
Mason told The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday that he doesn’t have control over who the Academy’s voting membership body selects.
“The thing that we can control is making sure that people that attend our events feel safe,” he said, adding that executives at the Academy won’t remove someone’s nomination even if they didn’t agree with it.
“We’re never going to be in the business of deciding someone’s moral position or where we evaluate them to be on the scale of morality,” he continued. “I think our job is to evaluate the art and the quality of the art.”
Chappelle and Louis C.K. were both nominated for Best Comedy Album for their comedy specials. Chappelle earned the nomination for his Netflix special “The Closer,” and Louis C.K. received a nod for his special “Sorry.”
Louis C.K. has admitted to sexually harassing five women who detailed their accusations of sexual misconduct against the disgraced comedian in a 2017 New York Times report.
Nonetheless, the comedian won a Grammy last year for Best Comedy Album with his special, “Sincerely Louis CK,” despite the scandal.
Chappelle was widely criticized for making a series of transphobic jokes in the now-Grammy-nominated Netflix special, “The Closer,” which premiered on the streaming service in October 2021. Netflix employees organized a walkout in protest of the special days after it released.
The comedian, who has three Best Comedy Album Grammys under his belt, recently sparked more controversy after hosting “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend. His monologue drew criticism from Anti-Defamation League, who accused the comedian of “normalizing and popularizing antisemitism.”
The 65th annual ceremony for the Grammys is set for Feb. 5.