Techno artist and animal rights activist Moby wasn’t at the Grammys Sunday, but he was watching — and he didn’t think the artists at the awards ceremony were doing a very good job selling important messages.
Moby called out the artists taking part in the 60th Annual Grammy Awards on his Instagram feed, posting a blank white image that contained only the text, “Dear Musicians” on it. In the caption on the photo, Moby wrote, “Dear musicians, I’m watching the Grammys and only @trevornoah has had the courage to say anything relevant or political. The unrelenting shameless self promotion is fucking grim. Musicians: you have a voice, an audience, and you’re wasting it. So shameful.”
Dear musicians, I'm watching the Grammys and only @trevornoah has had the courage to say anything relevant or political. The unrelenting shameless self promotion is fucking grim. Musicians: you have a voice, an audience, and you're wasting it. So shameful. #grammys Update: as the night progressed a few people did use their platform to speak about meaningful things and not just indulge in shameless self promotion.
Many of the artists at the Grammys wore white roses to show their solidarity with women who have faced sexual harassment and sexual assault, especially in the workplace. The white roses followed similar pushes at other award shows this month. Stars wore black at the Golden Globes in support of the #TIMESUP movement, that supports women fighting sexual assault and harassment in the workplace. Many also wore #TIMESUP pins at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Later in the show, the Grammys pivoted to some more important, political fare, and Moby amended his comment.
“Update: as the night progressed a few people did use their platform to speak about meaningful things and not just indulge in shameless self promotion,” he wrote.
Those meaningful things probably included a moving speech from Janelle Monae before she introduced a performance by Kesha. Monae specifically addressed the huge number of women recently coming forward to accuse powerful men in the entertainment industry and beyond of sexual assault and harassment.
“Tonight, I am proud to stand in solidarity as not just an artist but a young woman with my fellow sisters in this room who make up the music industry,” Monae said. “Artists, writers, assistants, publicists, CEOs, producers, engineers, and women from all sectors of the business. We are also daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, and human beings. We come in peace, but we mean business. And to those who would dare try and silence us, we offer you two words: Time’s up.”
Kesha’s performance of her song “Praying,” was also a huge political moment. The song was Kesha’s first release of new music for nearly four years, after her legal battle with former producer Dr. Luke, who Kesha alleged had drugged and sexually assaulted her. She was joined in performing the song by Cyndi Lauper, Julia Michaels, Camila Cabello, Andra Day, and Bebe Rexha and the Resistance Revival Chorus.