A few weeks ago, at the Golden Globes actors wore black to in sartorial solidarity of the campaign against the sexual harassment of women in Hollywood.
Now musicians are hoping that at this Sunday’s Grammys white roses will shine a light on the same issue within the music industry.
Attendees of the 60th Grammy Awards ceremony in New York are being encouraged to wear white roses to show their support for the cause.
The initiative was kick-started by a newly-formed group called Voices in Entertainment, led by Meg Harkins from record label Roc Nation and Karen Rait, of Interscope and A&M Records.
“We choose the white rose because historically it stands for hope, peace, sympathy and resistance,” the group said in an open letter. Music artists have a lot of impact,” added Rait in an interview with Billboard.
“So it’s only fitting that music’s biggest night shows the support for equality and safety in the workplace.”
According to the Associated Press, female artists such as Dua Lipa and Halsey, who delivered an empowering speech at the women’s march last week, have already pledged their support and will be wearing roses on the night.
The wearing of white roses won’t likely be the only acknowledgement of the #metoo movement on the night.
Pop star Kesha, who has widely become a symbol of sexual harassment within music, is also set to deliver a powerful performance which could give a nod to both the #metoo and #TimesUp initiative.
The singer, who sued superstar producer Dr Luke over claims of verbal, physical and sexual abuse, will sing her come-back single ‘Praying’, which many believe to be about her alleged tormentor.
Though she actually lost her court case, Kesha has gone on to receive two Grammy nominations for Best Pop Solo Performance for ‘Praying’ and Best Pop Vocal Album for ‘Rainbow’
Her performance of the single on the night is likely to be emotional not only because it is representative of the struggles she has experienced in recent years but also her strength in surviving it all.
Though she may not specifically mention #MeToo, Ken Ehrlich, producer of the Grammys, said the association with the news is likely to be deliberate.
“Even though her story goes back several years,” he said, “the reality of what happened over the last four or five months will put a different spin on the way people will view it.”
While the focus of the protest against sexual harassment has been firmly directed towards Hollywood, the music industry has certainly not escaped it’s own sexual harassment scandal.
Def Jam Recordings co-founder Russell Simmons stepped down from his businesses last year, after being accused of sexually assaulting screenwriter Jenny Lument. Six women have since accused him of rape.
Just like, the all-black protest at the Golden Globes, a sea of white roses might not bring the overnight change so desperately needed, but in terms of continuing the conversation and throwing light on sexual harassment within the music industry it could well have the desired effect.
“There are people who are going to watch the show who are caught up in the #MeToo movement and will expect us to address it in one way or another,” Mr Ehrlich, the show’s producer told NY Times.
“But there is a large part of the audience that will tune in because they just want to be entertained.”
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