When you think of awards shows, you usually think of long, drawn-out speeches and a whole lot of screams as fans’ fave celebs win awards. But there are plenty of celebrities that aren’t so gung-ho about the whole thing. Almost every awards show has had very vocal detractors in the form of celebrities who are totally unhappy with whatever’s going down. Many celebs feel they aren’t being honored fairly, or maybe don’t want to be honored by certain awards shows at all! But at the end of the day, they’re not afraid to call out whatever show they don’t agree with!
Hating on an awards show isn’t always personal, though, and in the last few years, there has been some political uprising as well. Whaddup, #OscarsSoWhite! Fortunately for us, they have more avenues than ever to call out what they see as corrupt institutions or ceremonies unappreciative of their work. From tweets to interviews, we have more access than ever to how celebs really feel about awards shows!
16. Kanye West, The Grammys
West has never been shy about his disdain for awards shows. But usually, it has to do with people other than him that he feels are deserving of awards. Y’all remember the Taylor Swift-VMAs incident, right? In the case of The Grammys, he once again thought someone else was getting the shaft. West’s buddy Frank Ocean was deemed ineligible for the 2017 Grammys because of a submission deadline but West wasn’t taking it lying down. At a concert, he called out the double standard referring to Lady Gaga‘s 2010 nomination for “Best New Artist,” which was the result of revised rules and, he alleges, so that she would perform at the show. Can’t say Kanye isn’t one to stick up for his friends!
15. Frank Ocean, The Grammys
Turns out Ocean doesn’t need his buddy Kanye sticking up for him because he called out The Grammys all on his own! He slammed the awards show for “putting people to sleep” and being a dated institution. A Grammys producer and a writer hit back at him (metaphorically speaking) in Rolling Stone, calling his 2013 Grammy performance “bad TV”! Ocean wasn’t about to take that lying down and went all in using his Tumblr account. He then flipped their own words on them calling out Taylor Swift‘s “Album of the Year” win over Kendrick Lamar as “bad TV”!
14. Toby Keith, The Country Music Awards
Keith is one of the biggest country stars in the world, but don’t expect to see him at The Country Music Awards. He’s boycotted the event for years, eventually calling it out as “too political.” When he had over 20 nominations within a few years yet won no awards, he decided that he couldn’t beat the show’s true intentions. After that, he said it just wasn’t worth his time to show up to an award show that didn’t want to honor him. He’s also noted that he has much bigger things to be proud of — like number-one albums and huge ticket sales. We’re pretty sure he’s not losing sleep over not taking home trophies at The CMAs!
13. General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless, and The Bold and the Beautiful, The Daytime Emmys
This was a lashing out of epic proportions. All four of the major soap operas on the air — General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless, and The Bold and the Beautiful — have threatened to boycott the 2018 Daytime Emmy Awards unless major changes are made. They’re calling out the voting and accounting practices for the show and want to restore “integrity” to the telecast. They’re hoping to eliminate bias from the voting and change the rules. The cast and crew have threatened to stay far away from the show until their demands are met. With floundering interest and ratings, the Daytime Emmys are already on a downward spiral. If these stars continue to boycott the show, there may not be a show to boycott for long!
12. Bella Thorne, Teen Choice Awards
Despite being nominated in multiple categories, Thorne completely boycotted the 2018 Teen Choice Awards. Her reasoning is simple: making kids pit people against each other probably messes with their head and she thinks the whole thing is rigged anyway. She also called out the actual categories, suggesting replacing “hottest” categories with “smartest” or “most charitable.” We definitely admire her stance for wanting to recognize people for being good people, not for just being good-looking! After calling out the show in July 2018, she didn’t attend the August ceremony, and we’re betting she isn’t going to attend ever again!
11. Snoop Dogg, The Grammys
Snoop is just one of the many rappers that have called out The Grammys for lack of representation for rap musicians. He first called the awards show out in 2015, saying “F*ck The Grammys” and calling for the creation of a hip-hop awards show. In 2018, he slammed The Grammys again, noting the many nominations he’s had with zero wins. He also hasn’t been shy about insinuating that the people he lost these awards to may not have been as worthy. Snoop is like the Leonardo DiCaprio of the rap world, and hopefully, he gets his due soon!
10. David Oyelowo, The Academy Awards
After he was snubbed for his role in Selma and amidst the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, Oyelowo wasn’t about to take the lack of recognition for actors of color lightly. He blasted the 2016 Oscars in a speech honoring Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. Oyelowo said that the Academy has a problem and cited the lack of representation for minorities in all of the key categories. Boone Isaacs herself is African American and Oyelowo called out the fact that the awards don’t represent him, the Academy’s president, or many of the people in this nation. The #OscarsSoWhite controversy is still a point of discussion today, proving how far we have to go for representation at awards shows!
9. Rose McGowan, The Golden Globes
At the 2018 Golden Globes ceremony, many women and men showed up wearing all black to show solidarity for the #TimesUp movement, which was protesting inequality for women in the workforce. But McGowan was not having any of the “Hollywood fakery.” She claims she wasn’t invited to the show, nor was she asked to sign the big #TimesUp letter that was circulating, despite her being one of the first vocal celebs in the movement against sexual harassment in Hollywood. She was backed up by other Harvey Weinstein abuse survivors who were also not invited to the show although the show was making a big deal about fighting against abuse prevalent in Tinseltown. McGowan is never one to stay silent when she’s got a problem with something and we would never expect her to!
8. Marlon Brando, The Academy Awards
Brando didn’t lash out at the awards show in an interview or to a friend, he did it right at the ceremony! When he won the 1973 Oscar for “Best Actor” in The Godfather, he didn’t accept the award — or even show up himself to decline it. He had Native American actress Sacheen Littlefeather attend the ceremony in his place and tell the audience that he was turning down the award because of Native American treatment in film. He had announced the night before that he was boycotting the ceremony and sending someone else in his place, and when he won, he had her shoo away the award completely. In one of the first, big political moments in awards show history, Brando set the stage for the political statements happening today.
7. 50 Cent, The Grammys
50 Cent didn’t mince words when he called out the Grammys in 2009. In an interview, he said that the show is basically the Beyoncé and Taylor Swift show, and the fact that they’re performing and spending money on the show basically guarantees them trophies. He’s not the first to call out awards shows for being rigged! At the time of the interview, he had not yet won a single Grammy despite more than a dozen nominations, so it’s not hard to see why he may be a bit bitter!
6. G-Eazy, The Grammys/Awards Shows in General
After the 2018 Grammys basically failed to recognize female stars at their 2018 ceremony, and then said it was their responsibility to “step up” in a statement afterward, G-Eazy was fed up! He vowed to boycott The Grammys and other awards shows until equality for women is seen in the ceremonies. He said that a boycott could actually happen, you know, if everyone jumped on board! While G-Eazy may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s great to see him calling out shows in the defense of women’s rights. That’s how to be an ally!
5. Spike Lee, The Academy Awards
Lee refused to go to the 2016 Oscars due to the lack of diversity in the acting awards. In 2015 and 2016, every major acting category was full of only white nominees. He slammed the “40 white actors in two years and no Flava at all” in an Instagram post. He put the onus on the execs in Hollywood, TV networks, and film studios to fight the “real” battles since they are the gatekeepers that decide what gets made. Until minorities are in those rooms getting roles and making content, the Oscars will remain white-washed, according to Lee. While there have been improvements in recent years, we can’t help but agree that there is still much more work to be done!
4. Kanye West, The VMAs
Kanye loves his awards show controversies! A year before he would famously interrupt Taylor Swift’s VMA win, he was actually boycotting the show. At the last minute, he decided to attend the 2008 VMAs after he was upset about his treatment the year before. With no wins and being forced to perform on a small stage, the 2007 show left a bad taste in his mouth. But he changed his mind after blasting MTV for refusing to give him any awards and showed up to close the 2008 ceremony. And, of course, with his boycott set to the side, he was free to come to 2009 show, and the rest is history!
3. Drake, The Grammys
Drake is yet another hip-hop star upset that this particular awards show hasn’t exactly been favorable to the hip-hop community. He didn’t submit his 2017 album More Life for consideration at the 2018 Grammys and showed how he really feels about the people in charge. After his 2017 Grammy wins, he told a publication that he won two Grammys that he didn’t even want! He wasn’t happy that the awards show was pigeonholing him as a “rapper” when he thought he didn’t truly fall into that category. As far as music awards shows go, there has always been an issue with hip-hop artists being shoehorned into one or two categories despite the breadth of different music coming from that community. Clearly people are fed TF up!
2. Jada Pinkett Smith, The Academy Awards
In 2016, #OscarsSoWhite was at its peak and Smith was one of the many people who chose not to attend the ceremony in protest. She said that people of color shouldn’t have to be begging for acknowledgment, as that “diminishes dignity and diminishes power.” Smith was one of the most vocal critics against the show. In 2017, when nominations were more diverse, she expressed her happiness for the change. But, she also noted that there is still a long way to go. We think her feud with the Oscars may be all good for now!
1. Halsey, The VMAs
Halsey didn’t attend the 2018 VMAs and fans took notice. When asked about it on Twitter, she went off since the awards show failed to nominate her for a single award. This was a particularly big blow to the singer since she directed all of her own music videos from her most recent album. She also noted that MTV “#wcw”s her to death but still didn’t nominate her for an award! So she sat out the VMAs, instead opting to go to the after parties (where she reconnected with her ex, G-Eazy!) to support her musician friends.