Fiona Apple has distanced herself from the music industry’s awards season complex ever since accepting her first Grammy, for “Criminal,” in 1998. The ceremony, on the other hand, has been attempting to woo her back; it kicked off Sunday night’s 2021 edition by awarding her 2020 hit Fetch the Boltcutters with Best Alternative Music Album, and “Shameika” with Best Rock Performance. Apple, on the other hand, plans to maintain her distance. But the reason she won’t show face on Sunday goes beyond the Grammy Awards specifically.
“It’s not because I’m trying to protest, even though I have problems with the Grammys,” Apple said in a video her friend, the filmmaker Zelda Hayman, posted on Instagram over the weekend. “It’s not because of that. It’s really because I don’t want to be on national television.”
From there, the 43-year-old got candid. “I’m just not made for that kind of stuff anymore. I want to stay sober and I can’t do that sober—it doesn’t feel safe to me to be in that kind of…” With a slight smile, she continued, “exposure, scrutiny, comparison to people. I can’t. I don’t wanna do it, I don’t wanna do it. So I’m not gonna do it.”
From there, Apple got into what seemed her real reasoning for addressing the awards. “There’s been lots of questions about the transparency of the Grammys,” she said. “I feel like that’s important, but it’s not important. I care, but I don’t care. What really, really is undeniably important is the transparency in actual court rooms.”
Which is why she’d like you to sign a petition for courts to keep virtual access open to court watchers, specifically in her own court watching group in Prince George’s County, Maryland. “They’re trying to shut us out, and you gotta question it, like why are you trying to shut us out?,” Apple asked. “What don’t you want us to see?”
As for putting those same questions to the Recording Academy, Halsey, Drake, and The Weeknd have that covered.