Seeking justice in the music industry
The Grammys red carpet was a bed of white roses Sunday night as musicians across genres donned the flower as a symbol of solidarity. Entertainment Weekly caught up with stars on the red carpet to get their opinions on the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements and find out what artists expect from the music industry moving forward. Click through for their comments.
Lana Del Rey
“I think the ball is rolling and it’s just gonna keep growing; it’s not gonna stop,” says the singer, whose Lust for Life was up for Best Pop Vocal Album. Del Rey recently retired a song reportedly inspired by Harvey Weinstein. “It’s not a passing phase,” she said of the movement. “It’s happening. We’re here for it!”
Jason Boyd, a.k.a Poo Bear, told EW that the recent surge of women speaking out about sexual misconduct caused him to reflect on incidents in his past with an unnamed woman, and he now believes that he was sexually harassed. He also foresees a metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel for female artists moving forward. “I think it just gives them hope,” said the musician, who helped pen Song of the Year nominee “Despacito.” “It doesn’t have to be about their physical [appearance], but more so their God-given talent.”
“If people would just treat people like they’d want to be treated — the golden rule — I think everybody would get along a lot better,” said the country great, who took home the Grammy for Best Roots Gospel album for her release Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope. “Don’t hurt other people. Just be kind.”
“No one has power over you — whether you’re a woman or anybody,” said the legendary songwriter, whose Marshall tune by Andra Day and Common, “Stand Up For Something,” was nominated for Best Song Written For Visual Media. “And now the conversation is shifting, so they gotta deal with us!”
“The music industry is literally built on the exploitation of young girls’ bodies,” said India.Arie, whose SongVersation: Medicine was up for Best New Age Album. “It’s so ubiquitous that we don’t even notice it. I think if it really takes root in the music industry, it’s going to be more than just some people being prosecuted; it’s going to change the whole industry. So I’m skeptical about that, but I’m hopeful.”
Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood said they wore white roses for Hillary Scott, the “really strong and amazing woman” who leads their band, plus women in all industries. Scott is pregnant with twins and couldn’t make it to the show, where Lady Antebellum was nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance (“You Look Good”) and Best Country Album (Heartbreak).
“I think that it’s wonderful that we are finally calling it out, but it’s always existed and it’s time that we keep talking about it,” said Ledisi, who scored three nominations in R&B categories. “Tell it as it is. I want people to not be afraid. A lot of people are afraid. But, to the people that aren’t: keep talking, be loud.”
“There’s a lot of people in different industries — including politics, including the entertainment industry, and the music industry — it’s grown like weeds. It’s everywhere,” said the singer, who wore an anti-abortion dress to the ceremony. She later added: “The #MeToo movement is about shedding the light on a very dark subject…I do believe that #MeToo is not enough. We need to report it to the cops. If something happens to you, you need to go straight to the police.”
Marlanna Evans, a.k.a Rapsody, thinks #MeToo is a “beautiful thing.” Added the nominee for Best Rap Song (“Sassy”) and Best Rap Album (Laila’s Wisdom): “It’s good to see people held accountable for their actions.”
The Baylor Project, a.k.a. Marcus and Jean Baylor
“What better platform do you have, when you have millions and millions of people watching, to speak on something that affects so many people in a negative way?” said Jean Baylor, one half of the Grammy-nominated jazz duo. “We’re strong enough as women to turn it around into a positive. We’ve been coming out of the ashes and into beauty for centuries. Why not now?”
Ben Fielding and Brooke Fraser of Hillsong Worship
“I just love that this movement is creating a conversation that really has needed to be had for a long time,” Ben Fielding told EW before Hillsong Worship’s song “What A Beautiful Name” won Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song. “We’re obviously completely for equality in the workplace, and there’s no place for intimidation or harassment.”
Said Fraser: “I think it’s important for there to be justice for what has taken place, but I think it’s important that it doesn’t veer into vengeance which can really create bitterness, which divides people. Division never moves anything forward.