Grammys launch initiative aiding women producers, engineers
CGTN

The Recording Academy’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion is launching a new initiative to create and expand more opportunities to female music producers and engineers.

The academy on Friday announced the Producer & Engineer Inclusion Initiative, which asks that musicians, record labels and others consider at least two female producers or engineers when working on a project, whether it's a song or an album.

More than 200 have already pledged and are committed, including Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Quincy Jones, John Legend, Ariana Grande, Cardi B, and more.

"It's a really important step to make sure you're considering a diverse slate when you're going to pick a producer or engineer,” said Tina Tchen, chair of the academy's Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion, in an interview with The Associated Press. 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for "A Star is Born" nominee Lady Gaga walks the red carpet at the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, January 27, 2019. /VCG Photo

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for "A Star is Born" nominee Lady Gaga walks the red carpet at the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, January 27, 2019. /VCG Photo

"Pick whoever you want, because we want people to make their own artistic decisions, but we do know the more that women are included in the mix and get a look at and are seen, then doors are going to open up.

"And that's what this is about – making sure all of those doors of opportunities are open to everyone and that women who for so long really haven't had their shot can get a fair shot."

The initiative comes after last year's USC Annenberg study, which said only two percent of music producers and three percent of engineers in popular music are women. 

Canadian singer Justin Bieber performs on stage in Telia Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, October 2, 2016. /VCG Photo

Canadian singer Justin Bieber performs on stage in Telia Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, October 2, 2016. /VCG Photo

"It's not just about the artists that we know, but it's the behind-the-scenes folks who are involved: other producers and engineers, the labels, the studios, the agents, the publishers recognizing that they all have a role to play and they can all play a positive role in the change that needs to be made," said Tchen, who was the chief of staff to former first lady Michelle Obama and is a partner at Buckley LLP.

The academy announced the new task force last year after Grammys CEO Neil Portnow said women need to "step up" when asked about the lack of female winners backstage at the 2018 Grammys. 

Only two female performers won awards during the live telecast and the Grammys were criticized for not letting singer Lorde, the only women nominated for album of the year, perform at the show.

Recording artist Ariana Grande performs onstage during the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., May 20, 2018. /VCG Photo

Recording artist Ariana Grande performs onstage during the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., May 20, 2018. /VCG Photo

This year's Grammys, however, include more female nominees in the top categories. Linda Perry, who said she will participate in the new initiative, also made history as the first woman nominated for non-classical producer of the year in 15 years.

To help artists and others find success with the Initiative, the academy will list working female producers and engineers on its website. The academy is also working with the organizations Women's Audio Mission and She is The Music to connect artists with female creators.

(Top Photo: Trophies for Grammy Awards are displayed backstage during the pre-telecast, January 28, 2018. /VCG Photo)

Source(s): AP