Another year, another MTV Video Music Awards ceremony. Taking a look at the list of nominees, there’s not a whole lot of surprises in there. Of course Lorde and Ed Sheeran would be nominated (check out the full and complete list of nominees here). It’s all pretty easy to predict. Except, take a look at the Rock Video category:
Coldplay – “A Head Full of Dreams” (Parlophone/Atlantic Records)
Fall Out Boy – “Young And Menace” (Island)
Twenty One Pilots – “Heavydirtysoul” (Fueled by Ramen/Atlantic Records)
Green Day – “Bang Bang” (Warner Bros. Records)
Foo Fighters – “Run” (RCA Records)
That’s a whole category full of almost exclusively white men. It’s actually quite impressive that this is something that MTV has managed to pull off. The lack in diversity is staggering. And so the question is asked of MTV: where is Paramore on this list? How is it possible that Paramore haven’t been nominated for Best Rock Video?
It’s hard to really fathom any world in which Paramore’s Hard Times isn’t nominated for Best Rock Video. The triumphant return of the band after years of silence (and a near breakup) was not only revolutionary, but incredibly well received. The fact that Paramore isn’t nominated is repressive not just to women in rock music, but also to the genre of rock itself. Hard Times has been an important and game changing part of 2017’s musical makeup.
Further to that, the place of raw honesty from which Hayley Williams has written Hard Times and the entirety of After Laughter has made Paramore one of the most important, and frankly revolutionary bands in the scene this year. But this is all opinion- let’s compare the data:
- Green Day’s Bang Bang: peaked at #1 on the Billboard Rock Charts
- Paramore’s Hard Times: peaked at #6 on the Billboard Rock Charts
- Foo Fighter’s Run: peaked at #7 on the Billboard Rock Charts
- Twenty One Pilot’s Heavydirtysoul: peaked at #8 on the Billboard Rock Charts
- Fall Out Boy’s Young and Menace: hasn’t charted on the Billboard Rock Charts
- Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams: hasn’t charted on the Billboard Rock Charts
“But this is about the music video!” you shout. OK, let’s pull receipts on that:
- Twenty One Pilot’s Heavydirtysoul: 41 million views on YouTube
- Paramore’s Hard Times: 40 million views on YouTube
- Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams: 24 million views on YouTube
- Green Day’s Bang Bang: 15 million views on YouTube
- Foo Fighter’s Run: 11.9 million views on YouTube
- Fall Out Boy’s Young and Menace: 9.7 million views on YouTube
Looking at the data, it becomes even more obvious that MTV ignoring Paramore’s releases and achievements this year is incredibly strange, to say the least. What kind of message does this send? That a woman in a band can be outperforming her male counterparts in almost every conceivable way, but still can’t compete in an awards category alongside them?
We’ve watched award show after award show be popularity contest. MTV set their own bar this year by having the first non-gender specific MTV Movie Award go to Emma Watson. It would be wrong to not hold them accountable to the same type of treatment in music. Paramore deserves better. Hayley Williams deserves better.