When Grammy nomination day came in November, people were excited by the lack of white male nominees in major categories. However, another problem emerged during the Grammys telecast: only one woman won in a major category: Alessia Cara, for best new artist. (Though, let’s be honest, it should’ve gone to SZA.)
During the show and into Monday morning, people voiced their frustrations with the awards show on Twitter with the hashtag #GrammysSoMale.
Once again, #EdSheeran wins over much stronger female contenders, so instead of #kesha‘s song about overcoming sexual abuse, we reward another song by a man about a woman’s body. #GRAMMYs #metoo #timesup #grammyssomale
— Anya Silver (@AnyaSilverPoet) January 29, 2018
Isn’t it great how the #GRAMMYs claims to be so current & relevant – black outfits.. Time’s Up badges.. white roses.. Kesha giving a moving performance with women on stage..
And yet Every single major award last night was won by a male artist? 🤔
— Karl Booton (@karlbooton) January 29, 2018
People brought up a host of points to support the hashtag, especially that Album of the Year nominee Lorde was not given her own performance time, while the telecast made time for many non-nominated men to share their craft.
Grammys President: ‘Women need to step up more.’
Lorde: ‘I’d love to perform my song, I really-‘
— Zara 🌹 (@havanacrazy12) January 29, 2018
I’m 51. And Sting is a fine artist. He wasn’t nominated for anything. He got 10 minutes of screen time. Lorde, the only female Album of the Year nominee, got exactly zero stage time. #GrammysSoMale https://t.co/qIUByGcRe6
— Mo Ryan (@moryan) January 29, 2018
When asked, one Grammys producer said of Lorde’s absence: “These shows are a matter of choices. We have a box and it gets full. She had a great album. There’s no way we can really deal with everybody.”
Several people tweeting #GrammysSoMale also pointed out that this was not about one specific awards show, similar to how #OscarsSoWhite creator April Reign has said her hashtag is about an industry-wide problem.
TO BE CLEAR: #GrammysSoMale is about the entire music industry as a whole, not just the #GRAMMYs. It is a much bigger issue than just who won awards this year | https://t.co/9mME4nuvLH pic.twitter.com/b6FqW5C6YZ
— Phil Buck (@Phil_Buck) January 29, 2018
A recent report from the University of Southern California found that female representation in popular music dropped in 2017, that only about 12% of songwriters are women, only 2% of music producers are women and that only 9% of Grammy nominees since 2013 have been women.
Even though women were mostly shut out from awards, they gave some of the most buzz-worthy moments at the show, including Kesha’s emotional girl power-studded performance of “Praying,” which was the award show’s nod to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS