MARCH 12, 2021
The Grammy Awards is facing criticism from Jewish groups for listing Women’s March co-leader Tamika Mallory — who is also a longtime supporter of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan — as a “performer” for the 2021 award show, set to air live Sunday on CBS.
Mallory has been repeatedly condemned for her anti-Israel remarks, such as calling the establishment of Israel a “human rights crime” and saying Israel has no right to exist “at the disposal” of the Palestinians. On social media, she has promoted Farrakhan’s annual “Saviour’s Day” events in which he attacks Jews, called him “GOAT” (the “Greatest of All Time”) and praised him for telling the “hard truths.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Algemeiner on Wednesday that Grammy Award producers “must be aware of [Mallory’s] toxic attitude toward Jewish community and Israel.”
“For decades, Americans have embraced [Martin Luther King Jr.] and his vision of a future with the color of one’s skin isn’t the decisive factor but the quality of one’s deeds, a message and value that The Grammys have chosen to forsake,” he said. “To heal, our nation needs a counsel culture not a cancel culture.”
The Recording Academy, which presents the awards, did not respond to The Algemeiner’s request for comment.
StandWithUs echoed Cooper’s sentiments in a statement Wednesday about Mallory’s upcoming appearance. It also took issue with rapper Jay Electronica’s nomination for Best Rap Album, for “A Written Testimony,” which includes recordings of speeches by Farrakhan and antisemitic lyrics.
StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein said the “insensitivity” of the Academy in featuring both individuals “shows a disturbing tolerance for anti-Jewish racism, a dangerous insensitivity to millions of Jews, including Holocaust survivors who are still alive, and an utter lack of moral judgment.”
“We are saddened and concerned that the Academy has shown a tone deafness when it comes to issues of antisemitism,” Rothstein continued. “Elevating such irresponsible choices of role models only serves to mainstream acceptance of antisemitism and fuel the hate that has led to an unprecedented number of hate crimes against Jews in the US.”
Carly Gammill, director of the StandWithUs Center for Combating Antisemitism, added that the Recording Academy and CBS are “both failing in their moral duty by instead promoting those who traffic in such bigotry.”
“The GRAMMYs is choosing the wrong role models at a time when there should be more sensitivity against racism directed at black people, Jews and all other victims of hate crimes,” she said.
Mallory participated in a Recording Academy event on Wednesday, during a virtual discussion about Black music and activism with “All of Me” singer John Legend as part of Black Music Collective’s Inaugural GRAMMY Week Celebration.
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