Snarknado: Grammys embrace diversity

Audrey Helm, News Editor

In an awards era following #OscarsSoWhite and in the time of #MeToo and Time’s Up, the Grammys were, frankly, a massive disappointment. The nominee slate was certainly diverse- Jay Z led the pack with eight nominations, Kendrick Lamar boasted seven, Childish Gambino was up for five, and Bruno Mars won the most awards of the night with six.

The Grammys tried to address #MeToo and Time’s Up, but failed to put its money where its mouth was – only one woman won a major award. Alessia Cara took home Best New Artist, even though her first album was released two years ago. Only one woman was nominated for Album of the Year and that was Lorde for her album Melodrama, and she wasn’t even granted a solo performance slot. The Grammys managed to seriously snub women, especially women of color. SZA was the night’s most-nominated woman, and she didn’t win anything.

The other major misstep came when Ed Sheeran won Best Pop Solo for Shape of You, a song about how sexy a woman’s body is, beating out Lady Gaga, P!nk, Kelly Clarkson, and Ke$ha. It’s really great when a white man can beat some of pop’s most powerful women based on how sexy he thinks women are.

These upsets come on the heels of last year’s biggest disappointment, when Adele’s 25 somehow beat out Beyonce’s Lemonade for Album of the Year; an award that hasn’t been won by a black woman since 1999.

There were occasional shining moments that glowed through all the muck; Ke$ha gave an emotionally charged performance of her single Praying. Unfortunately, this was lost in the midst of U2’s two (2!) performances. U2’s great, don’t get me wrong, but they weren’t even nominated. You know who was nominated? Lorde.

The other nominee for weirdest and most incongruous performance came when Sting, a white man, performed a song about a white immigrant that hit the charts in the 80s and only peaked at no. 84. Again, why was there not room for Lorde in the program?

One of the most infuriating and frankly ridiculous moments occurred after the fact, when Neil Portnow, the head of the Recording Academy said, and I quote, “It has to begin with… women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level… [They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome.”

Here’s the thing, Neil: they have stepped up. Lemonade was a masterpiece. Melodrama was phenomenal. All of those women that Ed Sheeran somehow beat out created works of art. Women in the music industry, especially women of color, are continually producing great music, and the Recording Academy has made it clear that they are not welcome. The problem is not with them. It is with you.