Hollywood’s 60th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony was held on Sunday, Jan. 8 in Madison Square Garden, New York City. But with the spotlight shining bright on Hollywood’s latest sexism, racism, and sexual harassment scandals, the younger generations have tuned award ceremonies out and equality in.
With each passing year, less and less young folk are turning these programs on. “These award shows are kind of irrelevant to us... I’m not even sure which award is for acting and which one is for music,” junior Rohit Basu said.
“[Award ceremonies] definitely keep reminding me why Hollywood is a toxic culture- there are people who will attend these shows that are known to be tied to sexual assault and people attending who chose to underpay women and they’re all still being rewarded for it,” student Giovanna Castellanos said.
While for others, in their household, watching the awards show is a tradition. “I would say my mom watches [them] every year,” said senior Felicia Silveira. And in student Alexander Brody’s home, “[my parents] throw parties to watch it every year.”
Many students answered that they do not tune into these award programs, and have less desire now more than ever due to the overflow of wrongdoings circulating throughout the industry.
For the students who do tune in for these shows, it’s no longer just about who is winning what award. Today, students are more interested in what celebrities will say during speeches, and what hot topics will they bring brought to attention. When asked about watching for speeches rather than awards, junior Nina Whitlock responded by saying, “That’s actually the part I look forward to the most; I find it empowering that these influential people are finally able to use their platform to reshape the lives of us all.” Many others agreed: they’re watching to see who says what about what.
Following the allegations many woman made against Harvey Weinstein, many men in Hollywood’s industry found themselves also being accused of sexual misconduct in the workplace. This comes at a time that the industry is facing accusations of underpaying women,and just years after others have denounced some of the other big award ceremonies for being racist. While these types of scandals have cycled through this business for many years, but as more and more people are making claims, they are beginning to have the power to call for change.
At the previous Golden Globes ceremony, it was not just an awards celebration, but also a podium for many political movements as well. Celebrities used this platform to show up in all black to bring sexual harassment into the light. Many women used their voices to draw attention to the sexism that separates how the industry treats men and women. Last Sunday, many people wore white roses to further this “ #timesup” movement and continue bringing sexual assault to light.
Hollywood has worked hard to combat these scandals and support victims of the previous norms in the entertainment business. For the first time in 19 years, there was no white-male solo artists on the list of nominees for best album. This was also the first time in 15 years that the Grammy Awards ceremony was held in a location other than Los Angeles, where many of these allegations originate from. This does not fix the issues embedded deep in entertainment culture, but the public can certainly consider it a step in the right direction. As Whitlock puts it, “Hollywood has a huge impact on culture for everyday American lives... the mess surrounding sexism, racism, and sexual assault needs to be spoken about otherwise nothing will be resolved.”