The Grammy Awards was host to one of the biggest stages not only for music, but also for activism that reaches beyond Hollywood.
At the Grammys, many A-list stars took the spotlight to shine a light on gender inequality in the industry. Janelle Monae gave a speech for the Time’s Up Movement. “We come in peace but we mean business,” Monae says.
In the past six months, both movements really emerged throughout pop culture. Both serve towards breaking the inequalities women face in the workplace, specifically in the entertainment industry. Famously in 2014, Kesha accused her music producer, Dr. Luke, of sexual abuse, leading to her leave the music industry for a while. In 2017, she made a come with her song “Praying,” which she performed at the Grammys this year, contributing to #metoo movement.
There is a low number of female nominees at the Grammys which is consistent with the history of nominations. According to USC, only 9.3 percent of nominees at the Grammys have been women from 2014 to 2018. Lorde, who was the only woman nominated for album of the year, wasn’t asked to sing solo performance.
What can be seen looking towards the Oscars, Mar. 4, is that there will be the first woman to be nominated for Best Direction in the past eight years. Greta Gerwig is nominated for her film Lady Bird. It can be noted that there will likely be some form of activism taking place on the Oscar stage and red carpet. Gerwig isn’t the only woman breaking the male dominate selection of nominees.
While Hollywood can seem so far away, what about ETHS’ own auditorium? While school productions cannot explicitly show political viewpoints, both students and staff feel as though the stage creates a unique platform in hopes to continue the work of many of the women stars in the public’s eye.
“As for #metoo and Time’s up, personally I feel like I will do whatever I can to support the voices of the victimized,” Herbert says. “One of the mantras of writing original material for YAMO is that we want to punch up and make fun of or speak truth to power. Writer’s Showcase is about the passions, issues and concerns that inspire students.”
According to theatre teacher and director Timothy Herbert, the Theatre Dept. can show what they care about through their plays and performances. Later in the school year, in May, Herbert plans on directing Bluest Eyes. This play follows the life of a foster child who is sexually abused by her father. The Dept. wants to make sure that they pick plays centered around complex female characters.
“As for #metoo and Time’s up, personally I feel like I will do whatever I can to support the voices of the victimized,” Herbert says.
Teachers aren’t the only only concerned with these issue. Student in the Theatre Dept. also play a role when it comes to activism on and off the stage.
“Movements like those are the way changes happens,” junior Tess Dinerstein says. “Of course, just posting a hashtag on social media doesn’t do enough.” Activism can be seen in the numerous women’s marches that have occurred both this year and last.
As a woman involved in the Theatre Dept. Dinerstein says, “I have to speak up more than ever. It’s my responsibility to look out for myself and my peers.”
While the school won’t be on the Oscar stage, or nominated by the Academy, they are still making their voices heard in today’s political conversations.