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Brit Awards Announce Voting Panel Changes
Christian Eede , November 7th, 2016 13:23

Shake-up has come in response to last year's #BritsSoWhite campaign as well as criticism from figures such as Stormzy

The organisation behind the Brit Awards has announced a shake-up in this year's panel after last year failing to nominate a single black artist in any major category.

The failure resulted in a Twitter campaign with many expressing their anger via the #BritsSoWhite hashtag during and in the time leading up to the awards ceremony last year. The failure follows similar campaign against other awards show such as the Oscars. Now, the organisers of the Brit Awards have announced the biggest ever change in their 1,000-member voting panel with a hope to solve the issue.

As The Guardian reports, The academy say that the shake-up will make the voting panel more diverse on grounds of gender and race with more than 700 new members set to be invited to vote on the awards in 2017. The 70% male to 30% female ratio will also be given a shake-up with a new 52% male to 48% female ratio. The voting panel will be made up of 17% from BAME backgrounds also.

Ged Doherty, chairman of the BPI which oversees the awards, has admitted that pressure from high-profile figures such as Stormzy has seen the academy speed up their process of ensuring greater diversity in their voting panel, though he says that it had always been a priority for him in his role.