The Recording Academy announced Wednesday the introduction of an inclusion rider for production on the 2022 Grammy Awards telecast, a step to ensure that the production staff on the ceremony will be diverse at all levels of the show’s production.
The inclusion rider, which generally offers provisions to insure that a film or TV production’s hiring of cast and crew will be equal and diverse and draw from a wider pool, is in development now between the Recording Academy and Color of Change and is part of the Recording Academy’s larger #ChangeMusic campaign.
The rider will be an agreement between the Recording Academy and the production company for the Grammys, which will become the first major awards show to implement one. It will require the production company to audition, recruit and hire from a diverse pool for both onstage and offstage talent who have been historically and systematically excluded from the industry.
Reps for the Recording Academy did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for clarity on how many people or employees the rider will impact.
While efforts to install an inclusion rider have been in the works since 2019, the full details of the rider will be released publicly on September 16. The Recording Academy and Color Of Change are also in the process of developing a public Rider template for music video productions that will be released later this year.
“We’re honored to work alongside Color Of Change and the Inclusion Rider’s esteemed co-authors as we take this monumental step to ensure equitable industry standards that support a more diverse and inclusive music community,” Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, said in a statement. “As the Academy continues its transformational journey, diversifying our industry is at the core of every decision we make. We’re dedicated to fostering an environment of inclusion industry-wide and hope that our efforts set an example for our peers in the music community.”
The Recording Academy in recent years has taken major steps in diversifying the awards show and its nominees and winners, including tweaks to the nominating rules and hiring Valeisha Butterfield Jones as its chief diversity officer and recently promoting her to co-president.
The co-authors of the inclusion rider are Kalpana Kotagal (partner, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll), Fanshen Cox (head of strategic outreach, Pearl Street Films), and key contributors Valeisha Butterfield Jones (co-president, Recording Academy) and Ryan Butler (founding director, Warner Music | Blavatnik Center for Music Business at Howard University).
“There are a lot of unwritten rules in the entertainment industry that create racial exclusion, and at Color Of Change, we know that to change society you have to change the rules,” Rashad Robinson, president of Color Of Change, said in a statement. “This inclusion rider is a written rule that will change the culture of hiring at the GRAMMYs®, and will make inclusion the norm. We are proud to partner with the Recording Academy and hope that this joint effort inspires other entertainment industry leaders to join us in our fight for equity by adopting the Inclusion Rider.”
“Incorporating the Inclusion Rider into the GRAMMY Awards will have an enormous impact on an industry that has a long history of exclusion and underrepresentation,” Kotagal, civil rights attorney and partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, said in a statement. “Part of what makes the Inclusion Rider so potent is its adaptability and flexibility. The GRAMMY Awards Inclusion Rider will include the fundamental elements of the tool, including a commitment to deepening and diversifying hiring pools, setting benchmarks and targets for hiring, collecting and thoroughly analyzing applicant and hiring data and implementing accountability measures.”