Another awards show, another hashtag. #GrammysSoMale appeared on Twitter during the annual music awards show after male artists swept every category except for one.
Alessia Cara took home the best new artist award and stood alone as the sole female winner of a solo Grammy. Bruno Mars was the big winner of the night, taking home statues in all six categories he was nominated in.
In an interview with Variety, Recording Academy President Neil Portnow shared his thoughts about female representation in the media.
"It has to begin with…women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls," Portnow said. "Who want to be musicians…engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level…[they] need to step up because I think they would be welcome."
Portnow's comments fueled the hashtag #GrammysSoMale to a top trend on Twitter. A range of musicians from Pink to Katy Perry tweeted their thoughts on Portnow's perspective and called for more female representation in the awards show, as well as the music industry as a whole.
A tweet from Pink read: "Women in music don't need to 'step up' – women have been stepping up since the beginning of time. Stepping up, and also stepping aside. Women OWNED music this year."
Sheryl Crow also chimed in and tweeted her suggestion for the Grammys to return to female/male categories: "Who will young girls be inspired by to pick up a guitar and rock when most every category is filled with men? I'm not sure it is about women needing to 'step up', (as said by the male in charge). #GrammysSoMale"
USC sophomore Marissa Fitzgerald is a music industry major at the Thornton School of Music. She says the Recording Academy could establish a more balanced representation of Grammy award nominees by bringing back the "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance" and "Best Female R&B Vocal Performance" categories, along with the male counterparts.
"[However] I don't like the idea of separating Grammy awards based on gender," Fitzgerald said. "Because good music is good music regardless."
The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at USC released a study last Thursday that revealed there is a prevalent lack of representation of women in the music industry. According to the six-year study, the number of female artists fell to its lowest point in 2017 when women made up just 16.8% of artists.
Fitzgerald says there are multiple misconceptions about women in the industry, including the notion that some "sleep their way" to the top.
"This is completely untrue," she says. "The women I know in the music industry are just as talented, as smart and as hardworking as their male counterparts."
The 2018 Grammy Awards is not the first awards show to cause a social media movement. The SAG Awards featured a focus on powerful female figures in the film industry. Many directors, actresses and more showed their solidarity with victims of sexual assault with the #TimesUp hashtag, which also trended on Twitter.