In 2018 the hashtag #GrammysSoMale was one of the highest trending hashtags, after the lack of female representation was so clear with only ONE female artist being recognised. The Grammy’s CEO, Neil Portnow was heavily criticised after his comment on how women need to ‘step up’ in order to gain better representation, suggesting that the gender bias of the Grammy’s is not the academies fault.
This comes with a history of the Grammy’s being seen to be very gender biased. Between the years of 2012-2017, it was reported by University of Southern California that over 90% of the nominees were male, meaning less than 10% of the nominees were women.
One of the biggest shocks of the 2018 Grammy’s in particular was that Lorde, who was nominated for album of the year, wasn’t even invited to perform, but yet every man who was nominated for the same award was…
Overwhelming evidence that women were being underrepresented at the Grammy’s meant that something had to be done. It was announced in 2018 that the Grammy’s would have a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force in order to combat the lack of female inclusion.
2019 seemed to be the year that women were FINALLY getting the credit that they deserve. Alicia Keys hosted the award ceremony, making her the first female to host the Grammy’s in over a decade – and boy did she do an amazing job. Women took home 31 awards, which considering the amount of Grammy’s won by women in 2018, is a huge! Major female artists, including Cardi B, Janelle Monáe, and Dua Lipa all performed their art spectacularly, giving memorable performances.
So how about 2020?
It seems the Grammy’s are still under controversy, behind the scenes after allegations of corruptness and sexism were made by the CEO Deborah Duncan, after being placed on leave after uncovering misconduct within the academy. Deborah made complaints over sexual harassment, rape, and manipulated Grammy nominations.
The artists are the reason behind the Grammy’s and when it comes to improvements in inclusion, there have undoubtedly been improvements in equality and diversity this year! Women won 36 awards, 13 of whom were women of colour! Yes ladies! The Grammy’s have stepped up their game, recognising the power, talent and solidarity of women. Lizzo in particular was nominated for 8 awards, being the most nominated artist of the night, and Billie Eilish, at 17 years old was nominated for the 4 most prestigious awards available. Incredible achievements. Are we finally seeing some positive movement? Yes. Has it taken way longer than it should have? Yes.
The Grammy’s are still not perfect, there are still issues with female representation, particularly with the representation of women of colour; there are still issues with equality behind the scenes of the Grammy’s in regards to sexism and male power, however, the improvements made in the last two years have been remarkable and have shown how when women come together, we can make a change!