FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 9, 2001 Contact: Susan Lewis, National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) 1-877-739-3895 Ext 102 THE NSVRC OUTRAGED BY EMINEM'S GRAMMY NOMINATIONS! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enola, PA (January 9, 2001)
Last week the Rap performer, Eminem received four nominations to the 43rd GRAMMY Awards, including Album of the Year, for Marshall Mathers LP. Selections from the album such as Kill You and Kim depict the rape of one's own mother, throat-slashing, knives, profanity, sodomy, and includes lines such as: "There's a four year old boy lyin'dead with a slit throat in your living room, ha-ha," and "NOW BLEED BITCH BLEED".
As this nation struggles to reduce crime rates, eliminate drug use and end violent victimization, sexual and otherwise, the 43rd GRAMMY Awards and its sponsors are promoting the international recognition of what Emimen's own website calls a mind, "violently warped and vulgar." The website for the Recording Academy explains that its mission is "to positively impact the lives of musicians, industry members and our society at large." Karen Baker, Project Director of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) wonders how lyrics like: "Just bend over and take it like a slut, ok ma" positively impact our society at large? Baker says "creative censorship is not at issue when violence, rape and sexism are being upheld, applauded and honored as an artistic achievement." Eminem wails "I invented violence you vile, venomous, vomital bitches!" If, as the Academy asserts, awardees are honored not for sales and chart position but solely on artistic and technical achievements, then the lyrics of Eminem's creations carry great sway as the reason for the nominations.
The Marshall Mathers LP, released in US on May 23, 2000, topped 7 million in sales by September 15, 2000. Although these violent, sexually abusive lyrics have been widely disseminated through worldwide record sales, according to Baker, " there is still a need to question the fundamental responsibility of the music industry and its sponsors for promoting them." She asserts that "singing the songs and buying the songs differ significantly from honoring them." The Academy, and its sponsors, must take responsibility for applauding and honoring performances that contrast sharply with the mission of the Recording Academy, the promotion of society's health and safety, and decades of bipartisan efforts to reduce crime, violence, and sexual assault."
The Recording Academy is also a cofounder of the National Coalition for Music Education, an advocacy group that among other things, strives to promote the influence of music and other arts on child development." The National Sexual Violence Resource Center, dedicated to strengthening the support system for sexual assault survivors, serves as a national clearinghouse for resources. Ever mindful of the prevalence of sexual violence in society, Baker asserts that the entertainment industries must bear some responsibility for judgment and self-regulation in this highly technological age. The GRAMMY Awards are telecast annually to an international audience of over 1.5 billion in 170 countries.