In the last few months, Hollywood has been rocked by sexual misconduct scandals; the floodgates are open and women have been coming forward to share their stories of being assaulted or harassed by men in power. People are beginning to talk more freely of discrimination everywhere, in terms of representation, pay, and opportunity. Though the film industry seems to be making some immediate changes, the movement doesn't seem to have quite reached the music industry, despite some significant overlap.
A new organization called Time's Up, headed by big industry players as well as activists, has become important to the movement amongst celebrities. At the Golden Globes, everyone wore black and a Time's Up pin. At the Grammys, artists were encouraged to wear a white rose as a sign of "respect" and a way to express a hope for "new beginnings."
Many of them did, in their own style:
"My thinking on the white rose -- everybody's got their opinion of the way things should be, and I'm just going back to the Golden Rule: Treat others like you wanna be treated. Everybody be kind to each other." @reba on wearing a white rose at #Grammys. https://t.co/99o70sD77g pic.twitter.com/OMof2b1yG4— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 28, 2018
At the #Grammys, everyone from Lady Gaga to Sam Smith wore a white rose as a sign of support for the #TimesUp initiative. Others including Janelle Monáe sported a black-and-white Time’s Up pin in a show of solidarity with the initiative https://t.co/lxm1PadKGI pic.twitter.com/NeWpVe9cSl— HuffPost (@HuffPost) January 29, 2018
But not Lorde. Lorde wore red and a poem.
The poem is actually from artist Jenny Holzer, who is known for working in blocks of texts. Her art often addresses power, feminism, and revolution. The text reads:
Rejoice! Our times are intolerable. Take courage, for the worst is a harbinger of the best. Only dire circumstance can precipitate the overthrow of oppressors. The old and corrupt must be laid to waste before the just can triumph. Opposition identifies and isolates the enemy. Conflict of interest must be seen for what it is. Do not support palliative gestures; they confuse the people and delay the inevitable confrontation. Delay is not tolerated for it jeopardizes the well-being of the majority. Contradiction will be heightened. The reckoning will be hastened by the staging of seed disturbances. The apocalypse will blossom.
It seems like Lorde is behind the Time's Up message and thinks things need to change. But is there something specific she is mad about?
Well, Variety reported that Lorde was the only nominee for Album of the Year who was not offered a solo performance at the event. She was also the only woman nominated. It's rumored she was offered an opportunity to sing during a tribute to Tom Petty. They suggested she sing "American Girl," which is a great song, but probably not particularly meaningful to Lorde. She's from new Zealand, folks!
Also, her mother seems mad on her behalf, tweeting a clip of the New York Times that states, "Of the 899 people to be nominated for Grammy awards in the past six years, only nine per cent were women."
"This says it all," she captioned it.
Why wasn't Lorde offered a solo spot when all her male counterparts were? It's a bit confusing and hypocritical on a night where everyone is sending this subtle message about sexual harassment and sexist discrimination in the entertainment industry.
And there's a clear reason why. The people in charge are totally clueless. According to Variety, only one woman took home a major award on Sunday night. Alessia Cara won best new artist. When Recording Academy president Neil Portnow was asked about the gender discrepancy, he said...
“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, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level… [They need] to step up 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 upon us — us as an industry — to make the welcome mat very obvious, breeding opportunities for all people who want to be creative and paying it forward and creating that next generation of artists.”
L.O.L. You literally nominated an incredible female recording artist and, as far as I can tell, DID NOT welcome her to the stage. Are you kidding?
There was some representation with Kesha's incredible performance of "Praying," where she was joined by Camila Cabello, Cyndi Lauper, Julia Michaels, Bebe Rexha and Andra Day as well as part of the Resistance Revival Chorus from the Woman's March. It was sort of like thew Grammys tried to cram everything it should have been saying in support of women into one segment.
Kesha has very famously been locked in a dispute with a producer named Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald, who she alleges sexually assaulted and harassed her. She has been unable to unentangle her contract, and the music she makes is still tied to him and Sony.
And she was also nominated, for Best Pop Vocal Album. She lost to Ed Sheeran. People were not happy about it.
Logic singing about suicde losing to Bruno Mars singing about sex and women and Kesha singing about surviving and moving forward losing to Ed Sheeran singing about the shape of someone's body just goes to show how stupid the Grammys are— ً (@haIescabello) January 29, 2018
Still a lotta work to do before next year.