While Hollywood has seen a wave of high-profile firings regarding sexual assault, an initiative which has trickled down to other non-celebrity filled industries through the efforts of Time’s Up, the same hasn’t happened for the music industry.
Dr. Luke and R. Kelly still have successful careers despite highly-publicized allegations of sexual assault against them both. And aside from recent stories about celebrities like Russell Simmons and Nick Carter, there has yet to be a reckoning that mirrors the professional declines of film producers, actors, and executives.
But now, in a move that does mimic the Golden Globes, music executives are asking people attending the Grammys to wear white roses in solidarity with the Time’s Up movement. Led by Meg Harkins of Roc Nation and Karen Rait of Interscope/Geffen/A&M Records, a group of 15 women calling themselves ‘Voices in Entertainment’ sent a letter out to people in the industry encouraging them to wear the roses. “We choose the white rose because historically it stands for hope, peace, sympathy and resistance,” they wrote. Artists already confirmed to wear the roses at the show include Dua Lipa, Halsey, Cyndi Lauper, Tom Morello, Rapsody, and more, according to The Washington Post and The Hollywood Reporter.
But sexual harassment and violence against women have been so engrained in the way the music industry has run for decades, from Phil Spector to Kim Fowley to Front Porch Step, that it’s hard to even fathom what the industry would look like if it actually dealt with its prominent abusers. And considering many men in music have comfortably dodged these discussions thus far, it’s hard to gauge whether this solidarity move will function as more than optics.