As award season continues to sweep through the US, actresses, singers, and media celebrities refuse to be silenced. The Golden Globes, which took place in early January, was a night that was awash with black to honor Time’s Up, a movement that aims to speak out against sexual abuse and inequality in the workplace. This movement has since sparked huge discussion about the current sexual misconduct and unequal pay issues occurring in Hollywood and the rest of country, and ever since, more and more women in the media industries have begun to speak out about these issues. However, the people choosing to speak out don’t just come from the media industries; men and women from all across the nation are choosing to speak out about sexual misconduct. Just this past week, over 150 sexual abuse victims told their stories at Larry Nassar’s trial, and the end result: up to 175 years in prison for the man whose cruelty and manipulation hurt so many young men and women. In just January alone, a prominent media push has been made for gender equality in workplaces across the country, but there are still many large steps to be taken. As the Grammy’s approached, many, including myself, began to wonder if these prominent issues of abuse and inequality would be swept under the rug or brought into the light.
And oh, how brought into the light they were. Starting on the red carpet and continuing late into the evening, the “Time’s Up” and #MeToo Movements dominated the majority of the night’s conversations. To pay tribute to the “Time’s Up” movement, many artists including Kesha, Khalid, Nick Jonas, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Lady Gaga, and Miley Cyrus either wore or carried white roses on the red carpet, symbolizing new beginnings and hope for the future.
White roses were not the only powerful symbol of solidarity at the Grammy’s. Actress and singer Janelle Monae, who among thousands of others signed the “Time’s Up” Letter of Solidarity, gave a passionate speech on behalf of the movement. Monae began her speech, “We come in peace, but we mean business. And to those who try to silence us, we offer you two words — time’s up.” Although the majority of the press around the “Time’s Up” Movement is about the movie industry, Monae emphasized the fact that this sexual abuse and misconduct is a problem in every industry. She concluded her speech with a call to action, reminding all of us that we “have the power to undo the culture that does not serve us well… Let’s work united—men and women.” Monae’s moving speech was followed by a passionate, raw performance dedicated to the #MeToo movement. Kesha was joined on stage by renowned singers, including Andra Day, Julia Michaels, and Cyndi Lauper to perform her nominated song “Praying”, an anthem that screams for empowerment and equality in our world today. The performance embodied the empowerment and unity that the #MeToo movement is based on and reminded viewers and audience members alike that they are not alone in their experiences.
Performances by Lady Gaga and Pink also paid homage to the “Time’s Up” Movement during the Grammy’s. Pink’s performance, unlike her usual Avante-Garde style entertainment, was a simple, stripped down version of her song “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken.” During her performance, she wore a plain white t-shirt in honor of “Time’s Up”. Lady Gaga sang a powerful rendition of her two songs “Joanne” and “Million Reasons” following her call out to the “Time’s Up” movement as well.
Incidents of sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct have been happening, not only in the media industry but in every workplace for decades. Now more than ever, these issues are being called to attention through social media and the news. Although this is just the beginning, artists like Pink, Kesha, Lady Gaga, and Janelle Monae are using platforms such as the Grammy’s this past Sunday to add their influential voices to the thousands who stand in solidarity with the “Time’s Up” and #MeToo Movements. The social change that generations before us have fought to bring to light is finally getting the public attention it deserves, and because of these worldwide movements, everyone can get involved.
If you are interested in joining these empowered men and women in their journey to end this long history of sexual misconduct, harassment, and inequality in the workplace, go to https://www.timesupnow.com/ to join the movement and donate to the legal defense fund for “Time’s Up”. If you wish to support survivors and help to end sexual violence, go to https://metoomvmt.org/ to join the #MeToo Movement. The time for change is now!