The BRITS only just announced they were removing gendered categories from 2022 onwards but Brian May has already expressed his annoyance at the decision. 

The BRIT Awards finally followed the Grammys and ARIA Awards in doing away with gendered categories such as Best Male and Best Female Artist this week. The 2021 ceremony notably attracted criticism from non-binary singer Sam Smith.

“It is important that The BRITs continue to evolve and aim to be as inclusive as possible,” BRIT Chair Tom March explained about the decision. “It feels completely the right time to celebrate the achievements of artists for the music that they create, and the work that they do, irrespective of gender.”

Queen guitarist Brian May, however, isn’t as on board with the decision. In an interview with The Mirror in London this week, he labelled the removal of gendered categories as “frightening.”

“It’s a decision that has been made without enough thought,” he said. “A lot of things work quite well and can be left alone. I get so sick of people trying to change things without thinking of the long-term consequences. Some of these things are an improvement, some of them are not.”

May continued by insisting there’s an “atmosphere of fear everywhere because people are afraid to say how they really think”. He then referenced his old bandmate Freddie Mercury, saying he believed Queen’s legendary singer would also have found the modern culture “difficult.”

“For instance, Freddie came from Zanzibar, he wasn’t British, he wasn’t white as such – nobody cares, nobody ever, ever discussed it,” he said. “He was a musician, he was our friend, he was our brother.

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We didn’t have to stop and think: ‘Ooh, now, should we work with him? Is he the right colour? Is he the right sexual proclivity?’ None of that happened, and now I find it frightening that you have to be so calculating about everything.”

Queen won four BRIT Awards in their career, but May doesn’t think they would have managed to do so in the current climate. “We would be forced to have people of different colours and different sexes and we would have to have a trans (person). You know life doesn’t have to be like that. We can be separate and different.”

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Check out Queen at the 1989 BRIT Awards: