Album of the year is easily one of the most coveted honours awarded at the GRAMMYs, but not all the 2018 nominees were treated equally.
A bit of background: The GRAMMY Awards have a history of being excessively male-dominated. In an industry that has seen groundbreaking female performers including Diana Ross and Judy Garland, Taylor Swift and her royal highness Beyoncé, a recent study showed that GRAMMY Award nominees have been historically, overwhelmingly male. Out of the 899 artists nominated in the last six years, less than 10 percent were women. LESS THAN 10 PERCENT.
This stat hit particularly close to home for Sonja Yelich, mother of Ella Yelich-O’Connor a.k.a. Lorde. Yelich tweeted a printed story from the New York Times highlighting the study’s findings with the caption “This says it all.” The print story not only quoted the absolutely infuriating stats, but also highlighted that Lorde was not only the only woman nominated for Album of the Year, but she was also not given the same opportunities as her male nominees.
— Sonja Yelich (@sonjayelich1) January 26, 2018
Traditionally, all of the artists nominated for Album of the Year perform during the GRAMMY Awards. Nominees Childish Gambino, Bruno Mars (who ultimately won the award) and Kendrick Lamar took the stage and Jay-Z declined a performance spot—but Lorde was presented with a different option all together. According to Variety, Lorde was only approached to perform alongside other artists, but not solo. Translation: even though Lorde worked hard to earn a spot at the table, she is still not being served the same respect. Cool guys, it’s 2018.
I mean the fact that Lorde is the only female AOTY nominee and is the only one who wasn’t asked to perform solo is telling of the sexism of this show.
— James (@newromantic67) January 28, 2018
— Enrique Fuentes (@hombreficcion) January 28, 2018
As some social media users pointed out, the sexist snub is particularly stanky because of the Time’s Up movement in the entertainment industry, pushing to end inequality and sexual harassment. Many of the attendees at the GRAMMYs are wearing white roses in support of the movement.
The case of Lorde not being able to perform solo despite the men all being offered to is just one reason why we’re seeing white roses on the red carpet tonight. Cardi B can’t perform her inescapable hit “Bodak Yellow” but yes, let’s do the “Finesse” remix.
— Alexandra (@mermaidinstereo) January 28, 2018
The day following the seriously sexist GRAMMYs, Lorde announced her upcoming world tour on Twitter—and threw some shade at the award show in the process. “If you’re debating whether or not I can murder a stage…come see it for urself,” she tweeted in all caps with a angel emoji.
IF YOU’RE DEBATING WHETHER OR NOT I CAN MURDER A STAGE… COME SEE IT FOR URSELFhttps://t.co/BeS8VYTynn
— Lorde (@lorde) January 29, 2018
So while the GRAMMY red carpet was full of white roses showing solidarity for the fight against sexism, this whole situation with Lorde proves that there is still a long way to go.