As Grammys Take Center Stage, Music Industry Must Also Confront #TimesUp

Billed as ‘Music’s Biggest Night’, the Grammy Awards, the very public face of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, o have become a staple of awards season.  Musicians all over the planet follow the nominees with anticipation, watch the annual event and dream of one day being able to share the Grammy stage, thank the Recording Academy, and take home the gold.

The Grammy Awards also pride themselves on being much more than an award show.  As one of the most prominent representations of the Music Industry, it’s no surprise that the artists and creators within are often committed to be on the leading edge of important social change.  As TMZ reports, this Sunday’s show is no different…

The white rose movement at the Grammys has florists scrambling to fill TONS of orders … the demand is so overwhelming they’ve had to turn away business.

We talked to a bunch of NYC flower shops who tell us they’ve fielded a crazy number of requests for white roses that Grammy attendees plan to wear Sunday at Madison Square Garden. As you know … guests are wearing them to show solidarity with the Time’s Up movement. It’s music’s version of the black gowns at the Golden Globes.

Kelly ClarksonHalseyCyndi and Rita Ora are among the many artists who plan to take part. We’re told Warner Music Group alone ordered 100 white roses for their Grammy festivities.

But in the #TimesUp era, visual statements are truly just the beginning, and they alone fall far short of the systemic change needed in the Music Industry.  Much like Hollywood, the professional world of music is full of gender bias, inequity, prejudice and misogyny.  The world has watched as artist Kesha had to fight for her very career against alleged abuser and long-time music Producer Dr. Luke… just one out of hundreds of tragic stories.  But even in the less extreme, women in the music industry still have far fewer options than their male counterparts.

This may seem shocking to some, as some of the most powerful women in entertainment today– Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Adele– come from the world of music.  But as lead artists and mega-stars, they are brave, bold exceptions to a tragic rule.

Take the field of Music Production, where female perspectives remain woefully few in 2018.  For a music project, such as an album, a Producer is the equivalent of the Director in a film… they take the songs as written, and do what’s necessary to bring them into fruition.  In the entire 43 year history of The Grammys, a woman has never won for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical.  Though music legend Janet Jackson made history in 1990 as the first woman ever nominated for a Producer of the Year award, sadly only 7 other women have been as widely recognized for their Production work… Paula Cole, Sheryl Crow, Lauryn Hill, Mariah Carey, Lisa Coleman, Wendy Melvoin and Lauren Christy. Yes, in 43 years, only 8 women have been nominated! 

This year’s nominees?? All male.

And that’s not for a lack of trying.  Industry powerhouses like Madonna, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift have produced throughout their respective discographies.  Many prominent female artists have copious production work not only for themselves but also other artists, including Missy Elliott and Linda Perry, among the most prolific.  But time and again, these voices are locked out of the production booth, and therefore locked out of an important seat at music’s most powerful table.  In this arena, the non-classical sphere should take an important cue from their counterparts in classical music.

As we all know, misogyny is more than just the locking of doors to deny opportunity, favor or understanding. It also shows up in how those in how those qualities are distributed in a controversy. Speaking of Jackson, most Americans probably remember one of the biggest stories of 2004– the infamous wardrobe malfunction, and massive fallout which occurred from the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show.

In the midst of the firestorm were two artists… Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, both of whom were scheduled to appear at the Grammy Awards. Ms. Jackson, a 5-time Grammy winner multiple nominee and industry icon, was asked not to attend just before the show, while Timberlake not only kept his invitation, but went on to win major awards that night and practically laughed off the situation.  Jackson, in the midst of being lambasted by all corners of the press, also had to endure a cold shoulder from the music industry’s signature organization.

The Grammys have yet to apologize to Ms. Jackson, and she has not attended the awards show since that time.

Over the last year, a tectonic shift has begun in the very structure of American society. As we move away from the ‘default settings’ of resting power into the mostly male archetype, it’s hugely important that the music community stands up and speaks out on Grammy night. And after the celebration and parties conclude, it will be time to do some real work towards equality and respect.

Time’s Up.

TLCQ 2018: Adam Milasincic

In the Fifth installment of the 2018 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Adam Milasincic,  candidate for the Texas State House, District 138

Please note: Responses have been received directly from the candidate, and have been posted ver batim from the email received. This is done out of fairness to all candidates. Publishing these responses does not constitute an endorsement, but will be considered during the endorsement process.


TL:  What is your name, as it will appear on the ballot?

AM:  Adam Milasincic

TL:  Are you a current or former elected official? If so what office(s)?

AM:  I am an attorney and first-time candidate.

TL:  As a political candidate, you clearly care about what happens in certain levels of government. In your own words, why is government important?

AM:  When run properly, state government ensures an equal playing field and high quality of life for all residents. From our public schools to our flood-control infrastructure to the highways we drive on, decisions made in the state Capitol affect the everyday life of everyone who lives or even travels through our state. Unfortunately, government can be (and currently is being) used for the evil purpose of stigmatizing and bullying people—something that I am fighting to end.

TL:  If elected, name your top 3 priorities you hope to accomplish for the upcoming legislative session. Describe how you plan to accomplish them.


  • Invest in public schools as our #1 budget priority: Restore the state’s share of public school funding to at least 50 percent and use Rainy Day funds to repair the still-devastating consequences of the funding “gap” created by the $4 billion school funding cut in 2011. Improve pay and benefits for public school teachers.

  • Enact flood control solutions: Control carbon emissions to reduce Texas’ contributions to climate change. Toughen rules for new construction to protect existing homes. Create and properly fund a 13-county regional Flood Control District to accept responsibility for all storm water issues.

  • Stop all the hate: Racism and discrimination have never gone away, but these evils are becoming even worse today under Trump and Greg Abbott. We must resist and repeal discriminatory laws such as the “Show Me Your Papers” Senate Bill 4, and the never-ending flood of anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ bills filed every session. Stopping the hate also encompasses an end to all racial profiling, pretextual traffic stops, and other abuses in the criminal justice system that predominately harm African American and Hispanic people.

TL:  In the coming years, the state of Texas is on course to have an unprecedented boom in the state’s population. But with more people and more opportunities comes an ever-increasing strain on Texas roads and infrastructure. Describe your thoughts on what needs to be done to improve Texas infrastructure now so we can plan for a bright future for the state.

AM:  The state is already investing large sums in highway construction, but our flood-control infrastructure is vastly underfunded and overlooked. Through construction impact fees and other revenue sources, we must invest the money now to assure that when the next super storm hits, our families and homes will be better protected.

TL:  Even as impressive growth continues in around the state’s urban centers, rural Texans are faced with a healthcare crisis.  According to Laura Garcia of the Victoria Advocate, rural communities across the state have lost 18 hospitals in less than five years, and this was before any additional challenges worsened by natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey.  Without hospital services in or near their local communities, the medical and emergency care is at an increasing risk our citizens.  As a legislator, how would you plan to address this issue and help Texas’ vital rural healthcare facilities stay open?  

AM:  At the federal level, Congress needs to act by restoring adequate Medicare and Medicaid payments for these rural hospitals; underfunding at the federal level is a primary mover behind this crisis. As a state legislator, I will fight for expanding Affordable Care Act coverage within Texas so that quality healthcare is more accessible to low-income individuals in all communities. Additionally, we must expand loan-forgiveness and other incentives for medical students attending our state universities who commit to establishing practices in rural and other underserved communities.

TL:  In 2017, the Federal Communications Commission voted to overturn an Obama-era rule which classifies internet service providers as public utilities, and thereby governed under the 1934 Communications Act.  This decision essentially erases the principle that Internet Service Providers should treat all online content equally without giving preference to particular sources, otherwise known as Net Neutrality.  Please describe your views on this decision, and whether or not you would support legislation at the State or Federal level to uphold the principle of Net Neutrality.

AM:  I oppose the FCC’s decision and support Net Neutrality. A free, open internet is vital to our modern economy, and the FCC’s approach is yet another example of favoritism toward mega-corporations. Although state-level laws that directly attempt to contradict the FCC’s ruling would arguably be preempted by federal law if challenged in court, states can and should take creative steps to at least partially address the issue until we have a Congress and president willing to act. For example, some states are requiring internet service providers with state contracts to follow the Net Neutrality approach if they want to keep their state contracts.

TL:  What makes you the best candidate for this office?

AM: Winning experience and progressive values. I have a winning record of fighting and beating many of the richest and most powerful corporations in the state. Having litigated all the way through appeals courts on legal interpretation issues as in-the-weeds as how the placement of a comma affects a law’s meaning, I am ready to contribute on day one with substantive legislation and amendments. I am not intimidated by special interests and have the record to back it up. In today’s climate especially, we need our Democratic legislators to be tough, proven fighters and strategic planners if we are to successfully block the reactionary agenda that is ruining the lives of too many people in our state.

TL:  When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?

AM:  Volunteer work, reading mystery novels, and traveling to new places.


Thanks to Mr. Milasincic for the responses.

Texas Primary Election Day is Tuesday March 6th, and Early Voting begins February 20th.  For the Primary, you must register to vote no later than February 5th (if you’re unsure of your voting status, here’s where you can check your registration).  Early voting procedures can differ depending on your county, but here are helpful links to some: Harris CountyFort Bend CountyBrazoria CountyMontgomery County, and Galveston County

For other areas, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Page for your county information.

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