Dear GMA (Gospel Music Association),
For years, I’ve watched the Dove Awards with interest. When I was a teenager, I eagerly devoured your suggestions on artists. But I’ve become increasingly dissatisfied with your “product.” It seems like good artists get ignored while the same musicians keep getting awards, not necessarily for producing amazing albums, but for producing lucrative products. I can deal with this. It’s your prerogative to do with the Dove Awards as you see fit.
Just so you know, those in the industry secretly call GMA Week “Give Me Attention Week.” Perhaps a week is a little self-indulgent. While good efforts certainly deserve recognition, maybe you’re taking things a little too far. Extravagance has a price. And just how much do you spend on the week anyway?
This year for the 42nd Annual Dove Awards, you’ve chosen “The View’s” Sherri Shepherd to be your emcee. I applaud you for choosing to a plump, women of color. That’s about all I applaud you for.
Surely you have seen some of the questionable comments that Shepherd has made on “The View” or even caught her recurring role on “30 Rock.” While I know that Shepard says that she’s a Christian, I do find some of her statements, and particularly her roles questionable. Sure, she’s a funny comedienne (if that’s your kind of humor). Yet this is Christian music’s “biggest nights” (at least that’s what your advertisements say year after year).
While you hold your heads high as the purveyors of what is the best in Christian music and who deserves an award, know that your opinion is just that–your opinion. Clearly, picking someone like Shepherd is a ratings booster for a program that you hope goes more mainstream. I fear that you’re less concerned with praising musicians who honor God with their music and more concerned about your bottom line–making (and spending) money.
It’s your show and you can choose whoever you want to be the emcee. Just know that your opinions are not important to me anymore. I will congratulate the artists who receive a Dove Award, as it is still an honor for the artist. But know that my respect for the GMA as a whole–your week and your awards ceremony–has been exhausted.
A Former Christian Music Enthusiast
Update: Upon further reflection, I’ve decided to boycott the Dove Awards. I’m only one little voice, so I doubt anyone will care. But it makes me feel proactive! And to think, it used to be my dream to go to the Dove Awards in a pretty dress as some musician’s arm candy. Those days are SO over!