By VERONICA REINER
The 60th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony was held on Jan. 28 at the Madison Square Gardens in New York. This year was different as it commemorated the Time’s Up and #MeToo movement, with stars wearing white roses to show solidarity and empowerment. However, this year caused controversy as there was a noticeable lack of female winners at an event that celebrated equality.
The event did celebrate the #MeToo movement in several ways. The celebrities who wore a white rose or all white clothes included Lady Gaga, Kesha and Cyndi Lauper. Kesha also performed her ballad Praying. Other singers who performed included Camilla Cabello, Julia Michaels, Andra Day and the Resistance Revival Chorus, a collective of women who sing protest songs.
However, R&B star Bruno Mars swept the top categories, winning album, record and song of the year, and Kendrick Lamar won five of the awards. The lack of female winners was criticized despite the show promoting a message of equality and solidarity. This controversy was expressed in various news outlets, including the Washington Post and by using the hashtag on Twitter #GrammysSoMale.
In further controversy, Neil Portnoy, Recording Academy president, said women need to “step up” in response. Others called for him to step down after his comment, leading to its own hashtag. Rapper Iggy Azalea suggested next year’s Grammys be boycotted.
“That was not the point I was trying to make,” said Portnoy, in response to the controversy, according to The Guardian. He issued a second statement announcing a task force would review “every aspect of what we do as an organization and identify what more we can do as an organization and identify where we can do more to overcome the explicit barriers and unconscious barriers that impede female advancement in the music community.”