The GRAMMYs Have ‘Committed To Inclusion’ But What Does This *Actually* Mean?

Here's what the Recording Academy has planned for the 2022 ceremony.
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The GRAMMYs have just become the first major music awards show to publicly commit to using an Inclusion Rider.

WATCH: Beyonce performs at 2017 GRAMMYs

What does this mean?

Basically in film and TV, an Inclusion Rider is part of a contract that aims to diversify the candidate pool when it comes to casting, and encourages hiring people who have been typically “under-represented” in the media. 

What does “under-represented” mean?

According to the Recording Academy’s Rider, this umbrella term “encompasses people from communities that historically have been under-represented in the Broadcasts”.

It includes “people who identify as Black, Indigenous, Asian American & Pacific Islander, or Non-Black People of Color (including consideration of colorism), people of Hispanic or Latino/a/x descent, women of all backgrounds and identities, people with mental and/or physical disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, people 40 and older, people from religious or ethnic minority groups, and/or people having a combination of these attributes.”

The GRAMMYs have officially released their Inclusion Rider for 2022. (Credit: Getty)

So, what should we expect to see at the 2022 GRAMMYs?

Well, the RA have committed to ensuring that at least a third of the candidates considered to host the awards must stem from this “under-represented” category.

Same goes for presenters. And, considering it’s tradition for the presenters to be nominees, the Academy will branch out if the pool is not diverse enough. 

To determine which communities have been under-represented when it comes to these roles, they will look at GRAMMYs hosts and presenters from the past 20 years 

They are similarly committed to inclusion when it comes to performing roles and off-stage roles. 

What’s more, they have committed to making reasonable accomodations for people with disabilities, to provide gender-neutral facilities, and a land acknowledgement for Indigenous peoples’ past and present relationship to the land.

They will also be compiling a report to hold themselves accountable.    

In a statement about the decision, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said: “I am proud that the Academy is leading the charge in releasing an Inclusion Rider for the music community that counters systematic bias.

“We were proud to work with a very diverse crew last year for the GRAMMY Awards, and this is the culmination of a years-long effort to create a rider for the production of the GRAMMYs. But this is only the beginning. We are committed to putting in the real work required to help create a pipeline of diverse talent and drastically change representation.”

In creating this rider, the RA have teamed up with US non-profit orgnaisation Color of Change as part of a #ChangeMusic initiative.

President of COC, Rashas Robinson, deemed the Rider a “concrete accountability mechanism aimed at breaking through an endless stream of empty commitments”.

“It will ensure that Black people finally gain the authority in the industry that matches their essential contributions to it. An initiative of #ChangeMusic, the Inclusion Rider changes the rules of the industry’s hiring and management practices to open up opportunities for work and promotion that have long been denied.”

Nominations for the 2022 GRAMMYs will take place next month, on November 23rd. 

The actual awards will be held next January 31st.

Let’s hope this Rider is the first of many positive and tangible steps towards representation and equality in the music industry and the Arts more broadly.

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