As much as celebrities made a statement in the 60th Grammy Awards via their red carpet looks and speeches, it seems that it still fell short. Why? Just look at how many women were snubbed.
Let’s start with the awards. Only one woman received a major award, and that was Alessia Cara for Best New Artist. Other female artists like Beyoncé, Kesha, Lady Gaga, Lorde, and Pink—all of which made a huge splash in 2017—didn’t win awards in their respective categories.
Even Alessia’s win seems to be controversial. Independent pointed out that she’s technically not a “new artist” because she came into the music scene in 2016. In terms of who had their breakout in 2017, SZA and Khalid should’ve gotten a fair shot.
Rihanna also won a major award, but she shared it with Kendrick Lamar for Best Rap Award for the song “Loyalty.”
Kesha, who gave a powerful performance, lost Best Pop Vocal to Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You.” Sure, both songs became viral, but “Praying” was the anthem. Especially in the era of the #MeToo movement since it’s about being freed from an abuser.
Lastly, probably one of the most blatant snubs was Lorde. According to Variety, she wasn’t offered a solo performance among the Album of the Year nominees. (She’s also the only woman who was nominated in the category.) Meanwhile, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, and Childish Gambino were all allegedly asked to perform solo. Lorde only sang as part of the Tom Petty tribute.
Don’t get me wrong, women gave some of the biggest statements during the Grammys. Janelle Monae declared “time’s up” for sexual misconduct in the music industry; Camilla Cabello spoke up about the deportation of “dreamers”; and even Hillary Clinton made an appearance to poke fun at Pres. Donald Trump. Lady Gaga also gave a powerful performance to close the show.
However, the awarding snubs and its underlying inequality is too blatant to ignore. People (note: mostly men) are arguing that this shouldn’t be a gender issue, implying that women simply released subpar music last year compared to the men.
First off, I’m sure not ALL the women made bad records—listen to Melodrama and CTRL. You’ll see what I mean. Secondly, there has been a gender imbalance in Grammy wins for a long time now. In fact, only 11 women have won Album of the Year since the 1990s. What does that tell you?
Props to this year’s Grammys for being an avenue for both the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. But those white roses don’t mean anything if women were still given the short end.