Adele recently found herself in the heart of a controversy when her BRIT Awards speech triggered a social media discussion regarding transphobia. Earlier this week, the performer accepted her Artist of the Year award and recognized the BRITs’ first-ever gender-neutral category, adding she was pleased to be a woman:
“I understand why the name of this prize has been altered, but I adore being a woman and a female artist.” Yes, I do! “I’m incredibly proud of us, I truly am.”
Although the performer was applauded loudly by the live crowd at London’s O2 Arena, several critics were dissatisfied since they felt her comment on the program was supposedly transphobic. Several admirers, however, backed the artist, claiming she was merely celebrating her gender and did not want to criticize the trans community.
Adele’s BRIT Awards speech has split the internet.
After receiving concerns about banning non-binary musicians from being nominated in some categories, the BRIT Honors announced in November 2021 that it has chosen to add gender-neutral awards in its 45-year history:
“As part of the BRITs’ commitment to developing the program to be as open and current as possible, the BRITs have pledged to make the show more inclusive… honoring artists exclusively for their music and work, regardless of how they choose to identify or how others may view them.”
BRIT officials combined the customary Best Male and Best Female Artist categories into Artist of the Year as part of its new gender-neutral categorization. However, the award came under fire when Adele won Artist of the Year and stirred a transphobia discussion by claiming she was pleased to be a woman during her acceptance speech.
Jacob, or @OhHeyJacob, a Twitter user, stated that the singer’s comments had TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) undertones:
“No way, ADELE can’t be a TERF. That final statement, although vague, may be seen as TERF-like. No, thank you.”
Another user, @ TonyBird, mirrored the sentiment and went even farther in his criticism of the Hello hitmaker:
“Until proved innocent, Adele is a TERF.” “I don’t have faith in white British ladies.”
The tweets split the internet, with many defending the Easy On Me singer and pointing out that she was honoring her femininity. Jane Symons, a health writer and media consultant, wrote:
“A decade ago, if someone had said that a woman would be chastised for the thought-crime of like being a woman, I would have laughed at such a ridiculous concept.” Now that it’s occurring, I’m not sure whether to weep or yell.”
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Birdy Rose, aka @TheFamousArtistBR, also commented on Twitter:
“The greatest part of the incident is that it demonstrates that all a woman needs to do to be labeled a “terf” is admit her own s*x.” It reveals how low the threshold is and how high the price is for a woman who tells the truth without first thinking whether insane men would accept it.”