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N.Y. TIMES CHALLENGES GRAMMYS TO DEAL WITH WOMEN’S ISSUES

The New York Times is zeroing in on male in the context of the upcoming Grammy Awards.

In a 1/25 piece headlined “Will the Grammys Have a #MeToo Moment?,” Ben Sisario and Joe Coscarelli, noting that the music business has “remained largely untouched by revelations of male misconduct,” essentially throw down the gauntlet in the direction of the Recording Academy and its obligation to address these issues. And as the White House knows full well, the Gray Lady’s clout is considerable.

“Without an impactful response on Sunday, when all eyes turn to music, the industry risks being left out of the cultural conversation of the moment,” they write. “More than two dozen top-tier female artists, from first-time Grammy nominees to decorated veterans, declined to comment when asked about the #MeToo movement’s effect on music and how it may play out at the awards show. Many female executives, too, were reluctant to speak on the record.”

A second 1/25 story penned by Sisario—“Gender Diversity in the Music Industry? The Numbers Are Grim”—asserts that “Gender diversity in the music industry…may be even worse than in Hollywood.” The Times reporter cites a study by USC professor Stacy L. Smith, founder of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative (pictured), revealing that only 22.4% of the 1,239 artists who recorded the top 600 songs from 2012 to 2017 were women, while a mere 12.3% of the 2,767 songwriters credited on those songs were female.

The numbers are even more out-of-whack in terms of the Grammys. Of the 899 individuals who have been nominated the last six years, 90.7% were men and 9.3% were women. The study found that women were most likely to appear in the Best New Artist category.

Without question, this one-two punch from The Times and its lead media reporter puts the Academy on notice. Following the spotlighting of the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards earlier this month, it will be interesting indeed to see how the Grammys deal with these hot-button issues Sunday night.  

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