After the Recording Academy was accused of having a committee that could override the decision of Grammy voters, and amid public debate on whether or not Beyoncé‘s loss to Adele at this past week’s Grammy Awards was racially motivated, the singer took to Instagram to throw what some believe to be shade at the Academy.
The middle fingers, signifying “F You!,” of Beyoncé and her mother Tina Lawson, were on prominent display in a photo posted on social media. The mother-daughter photograph, which was taken the night of the Grammy Awards, caused speculation about the publicly gracious singer’s true feelings about losing to Adele in the biggest category of the night: “Album of the Year.
Beyoncé’s middle finger statement comes after Victor Willis, former lead singer of the disco group, People Village, shared a letter he penned to Recording Academy president Neil Portnow. In the letter, Willis, a voting member of the Academy, claimed that the organization has a “special select committee” that could override the decision of the Grammy voters if they did not agree with the results.
The committee, Willis said, was created after Lionel Ritchie’s Can’t Slow Down won Album of the Year in 1985, besting Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A.
“Certain people (mostly white) were very upset about this and thought Springsteen should have won,” Willis wrote. Soon thereafter, he said, the Academy instituted its supposed select committee.
“It seems you’re not being entirely candid when you suggest that Album of the Year is decided by Grammy voters, so, if we want more black awardees, join the Academy and vote. The truth of the matter is, Album of the Year as with a few other categories, is manipulated by the Grammys through this select committee and you know it,” Willis added.
“Simply put, if certain people at the Grammys don’t like who the voters have chosen, a Grammy committee will simply override the voters and subsequently select who they think should win. Like Adele, maybe?”