“So Grammys: Shame on you. Shame on you, shame on you,” Benet said in a Facebook video.
In less than two months' time, the world lost two of its most influential voices in Black music: Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White and soulful songstress Natalie Cole.
However, if you’ve been watching the Grammys, you might’ve noticed that a full-blown tribute was missing for either artist (though Stevie Wonder and Pentatonix briefly paid homage to White).
Eric Benet took to Facebook to speak out on the glaring oversight—especially juxtaposed with the eight-minute performance dedicated to rock legend David Bowie.
“When asked why there will not be a tribute to Maurice White, the response from the Grammy board was there’s just no time,” Benet said. “Just no time. Now, this, to me, is extremely upsetting. This to me is extremely racist. Tragic. Disgusting.”
Benet made it clear that he wasn’t discrediting Bowie’s influence on the musical world. In fact, he said, he thought that Bowie, who once chastised MTV for not including more diversity on their networks, would be as upset as he was.
“I think David Bowie is in his grave right now disgusted,” Benet said. “…So Grammys: Shame on you. Shame on you, shame on you. There would be no rock-and-roll if there was no R&B, and I feel like Black music…continues to be lessened in a number of different ways. But that’s another video.”
What do you think of Benet’s statement? Do you agree? Sound off!