The Socialist Party recently received this letter from Anne Englehardt regarding the upcoming Grammy Awards. Anne talks about the fact that performers including the Foo Fighters and Beyonce had planned to attend the Grammys despite the fact that members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) had planned to picket the event. The WGA represents some 10,500 film and television writers who are currently on strike in the US.
I regularly squabble with friends about music; which band has a good singer, a bad drummer, which bands are unoriginal. Feeling your case is weak, you might on occasion resort to commenting on personal attributes, that have nothing to do with music, but can help your argument.
I have always been a big fan of the Foo Fighters even though my friends say their music is boring. I like the sound and have been waiting for their new album. But the announcement that they, like singer BeyoncÃ© Knowles, would attend the Grammy music awards in the US despite a Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) planned picket, forced me to rethink.
The WGA have been on strike since November. Earlier the Golden Globe awards were called off after many nominees refused to cross the picket line.
I was really shocked when I heard that the Foos, including front man Dave Grohl (who was previously Nirvana’s drummer), planned to scab.
The WGA announced that they will pause the strike for this event, but that came after the Foos’ statement. Justin Timberlake and 50 Cent had reportedly agreed to boycott the awards in support of the WGA.
“People say, ‘It’s not about the awards’ and ‘You can’t judge art’. But it’s fun to win” said the band’s drummer in an interview in Rolling Stone. But I think: being a scab isn’t funny and you can judge the artist for actions outside of art.
I wasn’t really surprised by BeyoncÃ©’s attitude. I read that she, despite a dispute between black women workers and Wal-Mart, “was hawking their stuff for Christmas a few years ago.”
I never liked her anyway. But now I am forced to put the Foo Fighters on the same “rubbish” list; not because of their music, but because their personal attributes put them on the wrong side of the class struggle.
Selling their songs on images of resistance to oppression, like in their new video clip The Pretender, they seem to be actually condoning it by crossing another artist’s picket line.
Yours in struggle