Jacquelyn Hurtado/ Contributing Writer
On Jan. 28, the 60th Grammy Awards aired, starting off with an abundance of support for the Time’s Up movement and the Me Too campaign. Celebrities wore white roses to demonstrate female empowerment and equality. Everything seemed to radiate hope and progression towards a less male-dominated mentality – that is until the winners were announced.
To my disappointment, there were very few female winners during the Grammys. Alessia Cara received best new artist, and Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schalpman won best country duo/group performance, according to CNN.
Ed Sheeran won best pop solo performance for his song “Shape of You,” being the only male nominated artist amongst female artists Pink, Kesha, Lady Gaga and Kelly Clarkson. Naturally, the song about a man loving a woman for her body won rather than Kesha’s song about overcoming sexual assault.
As for performances, Kesha sang her emotional hit song “Praying” and was accompanied by Andra Day, Julia Michaels, Camila Cabello, Cyndi Lauper and Bebe Rexha.
Although other female singers such as Lady Gaga and Pink were also able to take the stage, Lorde who was nominated for Album of the Year wasn’t given the opportunity to perform. Meanwhile, Sting and U2, who weren’t nominated at all, did perform multiple times, according to MSN.
It was frustrating to see such a gender gap in the Grammys after witnessing the Time’s Up and Me Too movement. It seemed like female empowerment was just being used as a marketing tool for events like the Grammys and the Golden Globes, rather than a true course of action.
After Natalie Portman announced the “all-male nominees” for best director in the Golden Globes, I noticed that the gender gap was still very present in the entertainment industry, and the Grammys were no different.
When asked about this gender gap, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences president, Neil Portnow, said, “It has to begin with…women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls… and want to be part of the industry on the executive level…. [They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome.”
Whether he intended to or not, Portnow’s words seemed to undermine all the progress women have fought to achieve in the past year. Portnow seemed to imply that women have always been welcomed in the entertainment industry and were just never brave enough to “step up.”
Time and time again, women have not been welcomed. Men like Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., Brett Ratner and many more have abused and silenced them, while still winning awards, recognition and profit.
After living in fear, women finally used their strength and courage to battle this inequality. If speaking up and finally denouncing abusive power-hungry men isn’t “stepping up,” then I don’t know what is.
Rather than demonstrate that the times are truly changing, the Grammys revealed that the entertainment industry is still very male-dominated. There should have been more of an effort to balance out the wins and allow for more equality to shine through.
The Grammys should represent a time were all artists are rewarded for their talents and yet this message fell perfectly through the gender gap.
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