Janelle Monae gave a powerful speech addressing abuse of power in the music industry at the 2018 Grammy Awards tonight (January 28).
The musician and actor made the speech as she introduced Kesha‘s performance of ‘Praying’ at the awards ceremony.
“Tonight I am proud to stand in solidarity, not just as an artist, but a young woman with my fellow sisters in this room who make up the music industry,” she began. “Artists, writers, assistants, publicists, CEOs, producers, engineers, and women from all sectors of the business. We are also daughters, wives, mothers, sisters and human beings.
“We come in peace, but we mean business. And to those who would dare try and silence us, we offer you two words: Time’s up.”
— Raw Story (@RawStory) January 29, 2018
She continued to expand on what the women of the music industry and beyond are calling time’s up on. “We say time’s up to pay inequality, time’s up for discrimination, time’s up for harassment of any kind, and time’s up for the abuse of power,” she said.
“Because you see it’s not just going on in Hollywood, it’s not just going on in Washington, it’s right here in our industry as well. And just as we have the power to shape culture, we also have the power to undo the culture that does not serve us well.
“So let’s work together – women and men – as a united music industry committed to making more safe work environments, equal pay, and access for all women,” she urged her peers, before introducing Kesha. “And as artists so often do, our next performer embodies the great tradition of delivering important social messages through their music. This fearless two-time Grammy nominee inspired so many of us, including myself, when she spoke her truth on her album ‘Rainbow’, which was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album tonight.”
The Time’s Up initiative was launched at the start of 2018 by over 300 women working in the entertainment industry. It comes after the spate of sexual misconduct allegations that came out of Hollywood late last year, and involves a legal defence fund to help women bring legal charges against abusers.