Picture it: Alanis Morissette, a singer-songwriter who penned an equal parts infamous and iconic break-up song that spawned rumors and spanned decades, on stage alongside Olivia Rodrigo, a nascent version of herself, dueting Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” at the 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. You have goosebumps, no? It would’ve been a cool moment, if Morissette hadn’t pulled out of the performance last minute.
The annual ceremony took place in Los Angeles over the weekend, and when Morissette—who was slated to perform alongside Rodrigo—was noticeably absent, the rumor mill began churning—especially after Variety reported that she’d rehearsed just one day earlier, and multiple sources claimed she “struggled with the song.” On Monday night, Morissette set the record straight via a lengthy statement posted on her Instagram stories:
There are some misinformed rumblings about my not performing at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony this past weekend. Firstly, I have to say how much I adore Carly Simon and Olivia Rodrigo and Dolly Parton and Janet Jackson and Pat Benatar and Sheryl Crow and Pink and Brandi Carlile and Sara Bareilles — and all the amazing people and artists who were there.
I have spent decades in an industry that is rife with an overarching anti-woman sentiment and have tolerated a lot of condescension and disrespectfulness, reduction, dismissiveness, contract-breaching, unsupportiveness, exploitation and psychological violence (and more) throughout my career. I tolerated it because nothing would stop me from connecting with those who I cared about and resonated with. I live to serve and connect with people and so over the years I sucked it up on more occasions than I can count in order to do so. It’s hard not to be affected in any industry around the world, but Hollywood has been notorious for its disrespect of the feminine in all of us.
Thankfully, I am at a point in my life where there is no need for me to spend time in an environment that reduces women. I have had countless incredible experiences with production teams with all genders throughout my life. So many, and so fun. There is nothing better than a team of diverse people coming together with one mission. I’ll continue to show up in those environments with bells on. :)
Voting time! I love you,
The show went on, with Rodrigo singing “You’re So Vain,” a tribute to inductee, Simon—all on her own. Other guest stars included Sheryl Crow, Brandi Carlile, Pink, and inductees Pat Benatar, Carly Simon, and Dolly Parton (aka my personal Holy Trinity). The ceremony will air in full later this month on HBO.
I’m of the mind that everything Morissette has to say should be treated as canon. And besides, there’s more than enough evidence that Hollywood, as she writes, has maintained a “disrespect of the feminine in all of us,” despite the fact that without female and femme artists like any of the aforementioned, it wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. After all, what does it say about the industry that Dolly Parton—not a rock star by genre, but one all the same—was only just inducted to the Hall of Fame? Even still, I wish there was a stage that felt safe enough for Benatar, Simon, Parton, et. all, and Morissette. Lilith Fair, perhaps?