The #GrammyAwards, mostly white, mostly men

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Mostly white men wanted.

The Recording Academy has largely avoided the sort of criticism over lack of diversity that’s been leveled at the Oscars. But hours after men swept all but one of the categories given out on live television, #GrammysSoMale was trending.

Indeed, of the 84 Grammy categories handed out Sunday the Los Angeles Times reports that only a dozen or so went to women or acts co-led by women, which is pretty much in keeping with the damning research paper recently published by Stacy L. Smith, Marc Choueiti and Kate Pieper of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. Looking at the gender breakdown of nominees, it found that just 9.3% of them between 2013 and 2018 were female.

Having apparently learned nothing from the many men forced to walk back tone-deaf commentary during the #MeToo movement, Recording Academy President Neil Portnow almost immediately made things worse. He responded to the hashtag by urging women to “step up.”

Just like the #OscarsSoWhite campaign forced the film academy to reconsider its almost all-white, mostly male membership, this year’s male-dominated Grammy results prompted many variations on the same unanswered question: Who, exactly, is deciding the winners of music’s most coveted award?


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