You Probably Won't Win A Shorty Award Unless You’re American And/Or White

18 January 2017, 13:13

We the Unicorns

By Charleyy Hodson

We did the maths.

Don't get us wrong, we love the Shorty Awards and everyone who celebrates the Internet community, but sometimes you gotta step back and look at how its happening. Like clockwork, the Shorty's have released their full 2017 short list, and whilst we're thrilled to see some of our favourite creators recognised, there's a distinct and uncomfortable feeling that you need to be preferably A) American or B) white to get acknowledged.

Over 10 "Team Internet" categories (including Viner/Muser/Snapchatter/YouNower of the Year) plus six YouTube specific categories), approximately 134 creators were nominated for their standout contribution to social media. However, it looks like the best way to be noticed by the Academy is be born in the USA and/or caucasian - in fact, we calculated that 72% of the Team Internet nominees were white, and 80% were American.

https://twitter.com/lizakoshy/status/821490906343751681

Whilst we cannot in any way predict who the 2017 winners will be, it's already got us off to a nervous start if this is the very narrow spectrum of creators the group are paying attention to. It's especially concerning that their homepage boasts the following mission statement: "What happens on social media can change the world, create new stars and ignite global movements". Unfortunately it looks like they've forgotten the "global" aspect of this statement.

For reference, this is how the locations for each of the 134 creators can be broken down - the vast majority of American creators is shocking.

  • American - 108
  • Canada - 7
  • British - 6
  • Germany - 2
  • Phillippines - 1
  • Australia - 1
  • Denmark - 1
  • Ireland - 1
  • Finland - 1
  • Israel - 1
  • Sweden - 1
  • Trinidad and Tobago - 1
  • Unknown - 3
  • FYI: 97 nominees were white, 34 were POC and 3 were also unknown

Perhaps the reason for this narrow-focused list of nominees is down to the fact that the ceremony is held in NYC and they want to boost attendance, but this train of thought makes you think that well deserving creators were ignored because of their proximity to the show. However, as expected, the announcement of the Shorty Award nominees has sparked a wave of love from the YouTube community with people who themselves have been nominated instead choosing to promote their friends. So it's not all bad.

Let us know in the comments below what you think about the 2017 Shorty Awards, and if you feel there are issues surrounding the race and location of people nominated.