Teeks has spoken out after backlash over a post announcing the Aotearoa Music Awards performing lineup.
The critically acclaimed Māori musician addressed a report by The Brag outlining the lack of female artists on the lineup for next week's music awards.
It followed a social media post from TVNZ yesterday announcing the performers. But ceremony organisers say the post did not feature the full lineup, which was sent out on December 1.
Teeks is nominated for five awards and was named as one of the performers yesterday in an announcement shared by TVNZ, alongside Harper Finn, Troy Kingi, L.A.B., and Team Dynamite.
Commenters criticised TVNZ for not announcing any female artists.
"C'mon @aotearoamusicawards y'all can do better than this. No shade on the male performers here but it's pretty backwards to announce 100% male acts performing at NZ's major music awards," one person wrote.
Another said: "Where are the women though?"
"None of us knew who the other performers were until it was announced via social media. After seeing the post I was very disheartened as I'm sure the rest of these tāne were [too].
He added: "I take full responsibility for not inquiring about inclusion before I agreed to perform.
"It's important for people to know that as artists our relationship with award ceremonies like this; where art [is] measured subjectively, in an attempt to validate success is already conflicting...especially for Māori and Pasifika who have grown up with value systems where 'humility' is given so much emphasis that we don't even know how to celebrate ourselves. We stay quiet and we don't ask questions."
Teeks added he wasn't "going to pretend" that he "knows what it's like to be a woman in the music industry" because he doesn't, however he says he felt compelled to speak out because he knows "what it's like being brown in an inherently white industry".
"I'm hoping that our shared experiences contribute to closing this gap," the musician added.
In a response to the social media criticism yesterday, TVNZ clarified the performance lineup.
"This is just a snapshot of some of the performers you can look forward to watching on the night, but we can assure you there will be plenty of wāhine in the line up too!" it said in response to a post from the Beneaththeglassceiling.
"Apologies for any alarm. We're also looking forward to seeing the induction of five incredible wāhine toa into the NZ Music Hall of Fame."
A spokeswoman for the Aotearoa Music Awards said TVNZ's social media post did not include the full list of finalists and performers.
Sarah Owen Kaiwhakahaere o Ngā Tohu Puoro o Aotearoa (AMA) said: "It's unfortunate the TVNZ post didn't mention the performances of the incredible Te Nūtube and Goldsmith Baynes at the upcoming 2021 Aotearoa Music Awards.
"There is no denying the gender disparity of finalists and performers this year. It reflects the gender disparity in the nominations we received.
"There wasn't equal gender representation, and at its core is the historic and current inequities in not only our music industry but society as a whole. Recorded Music NZ know there is a lot that needs to be done.
"We will continue to work internally and alongside artists to find better ways to empower women and minority groups in our hapori puoro.
"If you're looking at the AMA finalists and performers this year and don't feel you're represented, please know the Aotearoa Music Awards needs and wants you on our stage."
In a statement to the Herald, TVNZ said they were sorry for not showcasing the female acts involved in the show.
"Our social post should have highlighted the wāhine involved in the show and we are very sorry that it didn't," a spokesperson said.
Hayley Sproull and Stan Walker will host the awards next Friday, December 17.
The ceremony screens on TVNZ OnDemand and TVNZ 2 from 8.30pm.