Maughan Hub is a series of articles written by KCL’s Comedy Society members, published on Wednesdays. We hope they entertain you wherever you are!
My name is Laura McCullen, and this is my application to join the Grammy Board of Executives. We all know how much pressure the Grammys are under to do better. ‘Grammys so white’ has 14 million Google results. Under the ‘people also ask’ section is the question “Has a black person won a Grammy?”. The Weeknd pointed out that a Black artist has only won Album of the Year ten times since ‘61. They’re onto us.
But we’re scared. We’re not ready. So how do we look like we’re blazing the trail for change and avoid getting cancelled? By nominating more POC artists and supporting social initiatives?
What? No, what? Ew. No. Listen, have you heard of Bo Burnham?
After a five-year hiatus, he released “Inside” in May. The Netflix special analyses the themes of 2020’s turbulence that we all felt. Anxiety. Isolation. Surrealism. White guilt. Yikes, so much white guilt. Didn’t enjoy that.
His second song, “Comedy”, is a self-congratulatory number about the ‘healing’ impact of his humour on a brutal and unjust world as a privileged white man. I don’t know about you guys, but this one really spoke to me.
Let’s be real here. You don’t really want to platform more non-white artists than you have to. I get it. We’re just like every other awards show: they show up, we tell them what counts as objectively good art, they leave. I personally am really not liking this whole public autonomy thing. Here’s how we can stay afloat while we get our power back. We need to give this track Song of the Year.
Burnham makes some really poignant points about racism and the state of the word that I think everyone needs to hear. It’s time to stand up for the rights of those suffering — the pressure on anyone even slightly rich or aristocratic to part with their wealth is uncalled for and unjust.
Additionally, I think we can take some lessons from history. White people have indeed directed the world for so much of human existence. And look around! Civilisation is doing great!
He’s right — we can’t just stand back and watch tragedies, like the Grammys being boycotted, or, like, racism, unfold before our eyes. We, as white people, have to get involved in both the nominations and the fight. So poignant. So resonant.
To quote “Comedy”, “The world is so f**ked up. Systematic oppression, income inequality, the other stuff… and there’s only one thing that we can do about it. While- while being paid, and being the centre of attention”.
I look forward to hearing from you.