News and Commentary

OOPS: Grammys Fail #TimesUp Big Time

The Grammys are under fire for falling woefully short of the Time’s Up movement’s “gender equity” standards. In fact, as the New York Daily News points out, only one woman won any main event award Sunday night, and for some reason many of the female nominees didn’t perform solo, like most of their male counterparts. To make matters worse, leading up to the event, a research team did a little digging and found that Sunday night was not an anomaly. Oops. But not to worry, the president of the Recording Academy has an explanation that #MeToo/#TimesUp activists are sure to buy.

As the NY Daily News highlights, the only female winner of any main event award was Alessia Cara, winner of the Best New Artist award. All of the other categories were “overwhelmingly dominated by men.”

“Even the best pop song category, which boasted four female nominees out of five, went to Ed Sheeran for ‘Shape of You,'” the Daily News notes.

One other woman actually did receive a reward, but it was shared with a man: Rihanna was a co-winner for the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration with Kendrick Lamar. Does that qualify as “gender equity”? Probably not.

The one woman nominated for Album of the Year, Lorde, was the only nominee not to perform. That’s right, all of her male counterparts were given some solo stage time. Anti-Time’s Up conspiracy or just unlucky programming?

The guy who really cleaned up Sunday night was Bruno Mars, who took home the awards for best song, record and album. Unlike Lorde, Mars was asked to perform solo, as were the other best album nominees: Lamar, JAY-Z and Childish Gambino.

Sunday’s almost all-male Grammys was not unusual at all. The LA Times provides a summary of a USC “inclusion” study published a few days before Sunday’s awards show which found that the 2018 Grammys looked a whole lot like other recent Grammys ceremonies. Since 2013, 90.7% of nominees have been male; only 9.3% were women.

But Recording Academy president Neil Portnow has an explanation: women simply aren’t involved enough in the music industry.

“I think it has to begin with women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, who want to be producers, who want to be part of the industry on the executive level to step up,” said Portnow, the Daily News reports. “Because I think they would be welcome. I don’t have personal experience of those kinds of brick walls that you face but I think it’s really a combination. Us as an industry making the welcome mat very obvious, creating mentorships, creating opportunities not only for women but all people who want to be creative and really paying it forward and creating that next generation of artists who feel like they can do anything, they can say anything.”

So, according to Portnow, the “time’s up” for women failing to “step up” (#StepUp?) in the industry, and for the industry not “making the welcome mat very obvious.” Or something.

Related: How Were The Ultra-Political Grammys’ Ratings? Even Worse Than You’d Expect.

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