The 2022 Grammy Awards ceremony will be produced with an inclusion rider “to ensure equity and inclusion at every level of the production,” the Recording Academy announced Wednesday.
The rider is in development, and is part of the larger #ChangeMusic initiative being created in partnership with Color Of Change, an online racial justice organization. It will be added as an addendum to a contract between the academy and the production company for the awards.
Show producers will be obligated to make their best effort to recruit, audition, interview, and hire on-stage and off-stage people who have been historically and systematically excluded from the industry.
“We’re honored to work alongside Color Of Change and the Inclusion Rider’s esteemed co-authors as we take this monumental step to ensure equitable industry standards that support a more diverse and inclusive music community,” said Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy. “As the Academy continues its transformational journey, diversifying our industry is at the core of every decision we make. We’re dedicated to fostering an environment of inclusion industry-wide and hope that our efforts set an example for our peers in the music community.”
Color of Change President Rashad Robinson said there are “a lot of unwritten rules in the entertainment industry that create racial exclusion, and at Color Of Change, we know that to change society you have to change the rules. This inclusion rider is a written rule that will change the culture of hiring at the Grammys, and will make inclusion the norm. We are proud to partner with the Recording Academy and hope that this joint effort inspires other entertainment industry leaders to join us in our fight for equity by adopting the inclusion rider.”
The full inclusion rider will be released to the public on Sept. 16. Key contributors include Valeisha Butterfield Jones, co-president of the Recording Academy, and Ryan Butler, founding director of Warner Music/Blavatnik Center for Music Business at Howard University.
“Incorporating the inclusion rider into the Grammy Awards will have an enormous impact on an industry that has a long history of exclusion and underrepresentation,” said Kalpana Kotagal, co-author of the rider and a civil rights attorney. “Part of what makes the inclusion rider so potent is its adaptability and flexibility. The Grammy Awards inclusion rider will include the fundamental elements of the tool, including a commitment to deepening and diversifying hiring pools, setting benchmarks and targets for hiring, collecting and thoroughly analyzing applicant and hiring data and implementing accountability measures.”