Ed Sheeran: Awards shows are filled with resentment

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran has revealed his true feeling about award shows in a candid new interview.

Speaking after Sunday’s MTV Awards, Sheeran described the ceremonies as “horrible” and said he often leaves “feeling sad” and deflated.

“The room is filled with resentment and hatred towards everyone else and it’s quite an uncomfortable atmosphere,” he told The Julia Show.

“It’s just lots of people wanting other people to fail and I don’t like that.”

He continued: “All the artists are sweet people, but they’re surrounded by entourages that want them to win too, so it’s one artist surrounded by ten people and another artist surrounded by ten people and everyone is kind of giving each other the side-eye.”

The 30-year-old, who performed his new single Shivers at Sunday’s MTV Awards, said that UK Award shows felt less competitive.

“In England, our award shows are just like, everyone gets drunk and no one really cares who wins or loses, it’s just sort of a good night out.”

Sheeran, who has six Brit Awards, four Grammys and two MTV Awards, said he wasn’t the only one who felt this way.

“People get the same feeling as me at those award shows. I’ve spoke[n] to people and they’re like, ‘I just felt really depressed afterwards.’

“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.”

Which other celebs dislike awards shows?

Will and Jada Pinkett Smith

Getty Images

Sheeran isn’t the first person to find award shows tedious and uncomfortable.

John Gielgud famously declined to accept his best supporting actor Oscar in 1982, saying: “I really detest all the mutual congratulation baloney and the invidious comparisons” that award shows evoke.

Actor George C. Scott went one further, declining his best actor Oscar nomination for Patton in 1970. The Academy went ahead and awarded him the prize anyway, which he refused to accept, calling the Oscars “demeaning” to actors and describing the ceremony as a “two-hour meat parade”.

Grammys ‘put you to sleep’

Others have boycotted award shows for political reasons. The 2016 Oscars saw several notable no-shows, including Spike Lee, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, who were protesting the lack of diversity amongst the nominees.

“We’re part of this community. But at this current time, we’re uncomfortable to stand there and say this is okay,” Smith told Good Morning America.

Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, Drake and The Weeknd have similarly boycotted the Grammys over the lack of recognition for black artists in the main award categories.

The last hip-hop album to win album of the year was Outkast’s Speakerboxxx / The Love Below in 2004; and The Weeknd found himself excluded from nominations for this year’s awards, despite having the biggest-selling single of 2020, with Blinding Lights.

“Look, I personally don’t care any more,” he said about the snub. “I have three Grammys, which mean nothing to me now. I suck at giving speeches anyways. Forget awards shows.”

The star subsequently instructed his record label to withhold his music from all future editions of the Grammys.

Frank Ocean took a similar stance, refusing to submit his music to the nomination committees in 2017, and saying the ceremony had lost its relevancy.

“Believe the ones who’d rather watch select performances from your program on YouTube the day after because your show puts them to sleep.”

Joaquin Phoenix

Reuters

But other stars, like Joaquin Phoenix, have found themselves in the awkward position of having to reverse their stance.

The actor famously called the process of campaigning for the Oscars “total, utter bull” and vowed to boycott award shows in 2012.

“I don’t want to be part of it. I don’t believe in it,” he told Interview magazine. “It’s the worst-tasting carrot I’ve ever tasted in my whole life. I don’t want this carrot.”

But three years later, he was back on the awards circuit in support of his crime drama Inherent Vice – something Golden Globes hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler couldn’t help but notice.

“Joaquin Phoenix is nominated for Inherent Vice,” they said in their opening monologue. “But obviously he isn’t here tonight because he has said publicly that – quote – award shows are total and utter bull… Oh! Hey Joaquin!”

The star went on to win both an Oscar and a Bafta for best actor for his performance in Joker in 2020.

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