Speaking with Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet of the Songwriters Hall of Fame gala on Thursday (June 16), Lil Nas — who received the Hal David Starlight Award honoring for his work as a talented young songwriter — spoke openly about diversity at award shows, saying that the industry is still lacking.
“I think we have a long way to go in some places,” he said, before adding that the progress that’s already been seen shouldn’t be ignored. “But I think the world is definitely trying its best to change in many ways, I’ll say that.”
The new statement comes just two weeks after Lil Nas X called out the BET Awards for offering him “an outstanding zero nominations” for their 2022 awards show, despite having what he called “3 of the biggest songs of last year & a critically acclaimed album” in a series of since-deleted tweets. In one of those tweets, LNX directly called out what he saw as standard music industry homophobia. “I just feel like black gay ppl have to fight to be seen in this world and even when we make it to the top mfs try to pretend we are invisible,” he wrote.
BET Networks has since commented on Lil Nas X’s statements, insisting that the awards program appreciates and supports Lil Nas X as well as the intersectional identities of other Black queer artists. “At BET, we are passionate advocates for the wonderful diversity that exists within our community,” the statement read. “We are committed to using all of our platforms to provide visibility and inclusion for all of the many intersections of the Black community.”
As for receiving an honor from the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Lil Nas X was over the moon. “This is actually insane, because I feel like there’s so many options,” he said on the red carpet. “This is like a big huge award show where legendary people are getting honored, so I’m just happy to be a part of it.”
Check out a clip of Lil Nas X’s interview below: