Members of the music industry will wear white roses to show solidarity for the #TimesUp movement at the 2018 Grammy Awards ceremony on Sunday.
The planned demonstration was put together by Roc Nation senior VP Meg Harkins and Karen Rait, rhythmic promotion at Interscope/Geffen/A&M Records, after realizing that "Music's Biggest Night" was coming without any plan in place to show support for the movement against sexual harassment.
On Monday they assembled a group of a dozen other women in music, calling themselves Voices in Entertainment, and over dinner at a Mexican restaurant in New York City decided to put a plan in place. They chose the white rose because it is a practical and traditional accessory with a symbolic color: The suffragettes wore white during their protests and, more recently, Hillary Clinton wore white at Donald Trump's presidential inauguration, says Harkins.
This week, the women have been reaching out to their contacts, encouraging them to also wear white roses. "And it grew like wildfire," says Harkins. Halsey, Rapsody, Kelly Clarkson, Cyndi Lauper, Dua Lipa, Rita Ora, Tom Morello and others will either participate by wearing white roses or have signed on in support of the demonstration as well.
Harkins and Rait say they were inspired by the #TimesUp movement that started on Jan. 1 and the demonstration that took place at the Golden Globes the weekend following. As much, they were sure to contact the #TimesUp movement to coordinate their messaging. "It's very important that we stay on their message," says Rait. "The amount of work they have been able to do in just three short weeks is inspiring."
Through this demonstration, the women expect the issue of harassment will be brought to the forefront of the Grammy Awards show and impact not just those in attendance at Madison Square Garden but the millions watching from home.
"It is an important conversation politically in our country and it's also a conversation we need to have internally with our artists and our companies," says Harkins. "We need to say if anyone is feeling like they're being discriminated against and they don't feel safe in their workplace, they have people who will support them."
Adds Rait, "Music artists have a lot of impact.... So it's only fitting that that music's biggest night show the support for equality and safety in the workplace and that people need to be cognizant of their fellow employes."
On Saturday (Jan. 27), it was announced that white rose boutonnieres will be available for nominees, Recording Academy members and red carpet press, thanks to a donation from 1800Flowers.com. The white roses will be given out at the Hotel Pennsylvania beginning 10 a.m. ET Sunday (Jan. 8).