"The room is filled with resentment and hatred towards everyone else."
Award ceremonies may appear to be filled with glitz and glamour but behind the scenes, it can be a different story. For some celebrities, these events aren't as much a celebratory occasion as they are times when they're unfairly pitted against their colleagues. And for others, it's an evening where they aren't represented or recognized despite their accomplishments.
For those reasons, some celebs choose to simply sit them out while others go as far as to stage a boycott in the hopes of enacting change. And even though award shows continue to air, it's safe to say that the opinions of these actors and musicians are changing how audiences see award shows.
Read on to find out what these stars had to say about award shows…
Seth Rogen doesn't really care much about award shows at all -- and doesn't get why anyone else would either. The actor says that he wouldn't expect anyone to care about an award ceremony that they personally have nothing to do with.
"I don't get why movie people care so much if other people care what awards we give ourselves. To me, maybe people just don't care. I don't care who wins the automobile awards. No other industry expects everyone to care about what awards they shower upon themselves. Maybe people just don't care. Maybe they did for a while and they stopped caring. And why should they?" Seth told Insider.
Ed Sheeran may have won a lot of awards, but he isn't a big fan of award shows either. The musician says that events like the Grammys and the American Music Awards pit artists against each other and create a hostile environment. He says he's not the only one who feels that way either.
"The room is filled with resentment and hatred towards everyone else, and it's quite an uncomfortable atmosphere…It's just lots of people wanting other people to fail, and I don't like that... The atmosphere is just not nice... It's a really, really horrible atmosphere to be in there. I always walk away feeling sad, and I don't like it," Ed said on Audacy's "The Julia Show."
While The Weeknd admits he "sucks at giving speeches," he isn't opposed to all award shows. He takes particular issue with The Grammys and has been boycotting the ceremony since 2021. When he wasn't given any nominations for that year's ceremony, he decided to withdraw himself from all further involvement in the annual ceremony. He explained that he believed that "secret committees" within the organization were corrupting the results -- and even when the Recording Academy promised to get rid of the committees, he continued to stay away from the show.
"I think the industry and public alike need to see the transparent system truly at play for the win to be celebrated, but it's an important start. I remain uninterested in being a part of the Grammys, especially with their own admission of corruption for all these decades. I will not be submitting in the future," he told Variety.
Kanye West has had his fair share of on-stage antics at award shows but during the 2015 VMAs, he revealed that he didn't really even care for the ceremonies at all. In the midst of accepting the Video Vanguard Award, he expressed that he didn't understand the point of judging everyone.
"I still don't understand award shows. I don't understand how they get five people who work their entire life…sell records, sell concert tickets, to come stand on a carpet and for the first time in they life be judged on a chopping block and have the opportunity to be considered a loser. I don't understand it bro. I do not understand when the biggest album or the biggest video I don't understand," Kanye said.
Woody Allen notoriously avoids award ceremonies. In fact, he has only attended the Oscars one time, shortly after the September 11th attacks in order to introduce a group of films that had been made in New York. Woody has said that he just doesn't appreciate award ceremonies and even calls the awards meaningless.
"I have no regard for that kind of ceremony. I just don't think they know what they're doing. When you see who wins those things -- or who doesn't win them -- you can see how meaningless this Oscar thing is…I know it sounds terrible, but winning that Oscar for 'Annie Hall' didn't mean anything to me," Woody once said.
Like The Weeknd, Drake also takes issue with the people behind the Grammys. In 2017, he didn't submit his album, "More Life," for consideration at the event and in 2021, he requested not to be included in the nominees. That same year, he also suggested it may be time for a new award ceremony that could be "built up over time" and "passed on to the generations to come."
"I think we should stop allowing ourselves to be shocked every year by the disconnect between impactful music and these awards and just accept that what once was the highest form of recognition may no longer matter to the artist that exist now and the ones that come after. It's like a relative you keep expecting to fix up but they just won't change their ways…This is a great time for somebody to start something new that we can build up overtime and pass on to the generations to come," he wrote on his Instagram Story.
Back in 2017, Justin Bieber also skipped out on the Grammys because he reportedly didn't believe the award show was relevant anymore and didn't represent the best artists when it came to young musicians. Several years later, Justin also withdrew his nominations because he was disappointed that his album "Changes" was nominated as a pop album as opposed to an R&B album.
"I am very meticulous and intentional about my music. With that being said, I set out to make an R&B album. Changes was and is an R&B album. It is not being acknowledged as an R&B album, which is very strange to me. I grew up admiring R&B music and wished to make a project that would embody that sound. For this not to be put into that category feels weird considering from the chords to the melodies to the vocal style all the way down to the hip hop drums that were chosen it is undeniably, unmistakably an R&B Album! To be clear, I absolutely love Pop music it just wasn't what I set out to make this time around," Justin wrote on his Instagram.
In 2016, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith were at the forefront of a boycott of the Oscars due to lack of diversity in the nominations. At that time, all 20 contenders under the actor category were white -- and it was the second year to be that way. In a video, Jada urged others to join them in their boycott.
"I can't help but ask the question: Is it time that people of color recognize how much power, influence, that we have amassed, that we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere? Begging for acknowledgment, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power. And we are a dignified people, and we are powerful. So let's let the Academy do them, with all grace and love. And let's do us, differently," she said in a Facebook video.
The couple were ultimately joined in the #OscarsSoWhite movement by numerous other actors including Spike Lee and David Oyelowo.
John Leguizamo took a step back from the Emmy Awards in 2020 due to a lack of Latinx nominees. In fact, the Primetime Emmy Awards had no nominations at all for Latinx actors or shows in any major category.
"I'm boycotting. If you don't have Latin people, there's no reason for me to see it. What's the point? It's unbelievable that our stories aren't being told, and there's one reason for that. Executives don't see us, don't get us -- don't care about us," John told Yahoo.
In 2018, Bella Thorne took a stand against the Teen Choice Awards and refused to attend, explaining that she didn't appreciate that young entertainers were pitted against each other. She suggested that the award show transition to more positive categories like "smartest" or one that "hyped people up for doing good."
"Teen choice is gross. The fact we are even voting against each other is .... it f---s w kids heads like a beauty competition...I'm #boycottingteenchoice besides it being rigged it's just f---ed up," Bella wrote on Twitter.
11. Toby Keith
Toby Keith isn't against all award shows but he does take issue with the County Music Awards. Throughout his career, he's only been awarded twice at the event, despite having dozens of nominations. Toby explained that he believes it's all too political for him to bother attending.
"I just, years ago, decided that it wasn't my bag. I think in three years, I had 24 nominations. I was 0 for 24, and I went, 'I can't beat the politics of this deal.' I was a No. 1 ticket seller, a No. 1 album seller, and I spent 51 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard in a four-year span, and I went 0 for 24? I was like, 'This isn't worth my time,'" Toby told Taste of Country Nights.