Fact Check: Were the Grammys Sponsored by Pfizer?

Pfizer's involvement with the 2023 Grammy Awards sparked speculation online, with some viewers wondering how much input the pharmaceutical company had.

The annual music ceremony was held at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California on Sunday night, with Beyoncé winning big, and Harry Styles nabbing album of the year.

Putting the awards to one side, the choice of sponsors irked some viewers, who voiced their frustration on social media. Comedian and political commentator Tim Young was one of many on Twitter who called out the link with Pfizer. Director Robby Starbuck called Pfizer's inclusion "on the nose" after its logo appeared after a satanic-themed performance by Sam Smith.

Newsweek reached out to Pfizer, which clarified its involvement with the 65th Annual Grammy Awards.

Grammy awards
Grammy award trophies seen in Las Vegas in 2022. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty

The Claim

Viewers of the 2023 Grammy Awards spotted a number of mentions of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. This led to the conclusion that Pfizer must be an official sponsor of this year's Grammy Awards.

Some people online, including apparently right-leaning political commentators, claimed that Pfizer's involvement was an example of Democratic politics at play.

"The #GRAMMYs was sponsored by Pfizer and had Jill Biden hand out the award for song of the year... Which only makes sense if you're a member of the leftist cult," Young wrote on Twitter to his 830,000 followers.

"These demons are really exposing themselves lately," Republican politician Elisa Martinez wrote, after Sam Smith and Kim Petras performed their song "Unholy." The clip being shared online showed Smith performing dressed as the devil. "The 65th Grammy Awards is sponsored by Pfizer," the voiceover said on air at the end of the performance.

Both performers of "Unholy" are members of the LGBTQ community. Smith uses they/them pronouns and came out as non-binary in 2019, while Petras, who was born in Germany, had gender confirmation surgery at 16 years old.

"You can't make this stuff up," podcast producer Elijah Schaffer wrote, also drawing the parallel between a "satanic" performance and the Pfizer mention. Florida-based GOP member Lavern Spicer called it "Devil Worship and Pfizer in the same minute."

The Facts

While Pfizer is not listed as an official partner of the 2023 Grammy Awards, it has confirmed in a statement to Newsweek that it was a paid sponsor at this year's event.

Responding to the reaction to Pfizer's placement next to Sam Smith's devil-themed performance, a Pfizer spokesperson told Newsweek, "We sponsored the overall Grammy's event, not any particular performance. Beyond that, we don't comment on our efforts to raise awareness."

Unlike the likes of IBM, Google Pixel, Mastercard and Grey Goose, Pfizer is not listed on the Recording Academy's website as an official partner. However, the Pfizer logo was clearly displayed during the live broadcast of the 65th Grammy Awards on CBS, and it clearly stated that the broadcast was "sponsored by Pfizer."

The claims made across social media attempting to draw a link between Pfizer and Sam Smith's "devil worship" performance have no evidence to support them, as suggested by Pfizer in its statement.

Newsweek also reached out to the Recording Academy and CBS for comment.

The Ruling



FACT CHECK BY Jamie Burton

True: The claim is verifiably correct. Primary source evidence proves the claim to be true.
Read more about our ratings.