It appears that the Grammys have some catching up to do. Of all the artists nominated for Album of the Year, Lorde is the only woman. She was also reportedly the only nominee not offered a solo performance spot at the award show.
According to Variety, Lorde was reportedly approached by the Grammys to perform alongside other artists at the event hosted at Madison Square Garden in a collaborative tribute to Tom Petty. Lorde declined, with good reason.
The pop star is joined by Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, and Childish Gambino in the Album of the Year category. All of the men in that category were offered solo performance slots and, other than Jay Z (who declined), they will all perform in the show. If every male artist nominated for Album of the Year deserve a solo performance, surely Lorde deserves one as well.
In the wake of movements like Time's Up and #MeToo, award shows are the latest public space where celebrities are showing solidarity for women. In partnership with Time's Up, the group Voices in Entertainment have organized a white rose campaign, a nod to the suffragettes, at the Grammys. Companies have stepped up to support the campaign; 1800Flowers.com donated white rose boutonnieres to be distributed the nominees, Recording Academy members, and red carpet press who want to get involved, according to a press release from Voices in Entertainment.
Neil Portnow, CEO of the Recording Academy, didn't confirm whether he would wear a white rose to support Time's Up to the show when asked by the Associated Press on Wednesday. "This is a decision that I need to know a little more about," he said the day after the email was sent out. "From what I heard about it, I think it's a wonderful expression that we as a society need to be working on and dealing with," adding that he supported similar causes. Executive producer Ken Ehrlich kept the focus on the artists themselves saying, "We're aware of it and we're certainly supportive of the movement, but the reality is we're more concerned with allowing artists that we work with to express themselves and have artistic freedom," he told AP. "If, in fact, that's part of that, then that's something we support."
By comparison to the rest of the entertainment industry, the music industry has seen fewer of the effects of the recent outpouring of sexual assault allegations. That is not because it is a less sexist sector of the entertainment industry, far from it. Women have been fighting for decades to get the same opportunities and respect as men in music. Lorde's mother, Sonja Yelich, tweeted a photo of a New York Times article with the caption, "This says it all." The article shared a statistic and while its theme unsurprising; however, the degree of the disparity is still staggering. It reads: "Of the 899 people to be nominated for Grammy awards in the past six years, only 9% were women."
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