Janelle Monae Calls Time’s Up on the Music Industry at the 2018 Grammys

“We come in peace, but we mean business.”

janelle monae
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The 2018 awards season has already delivered many powerful moments, particularly in light of movements such as #MeToo and Time’s Up. From fashion displays of solidarity to emotionally charged acceptance speeches, inspiration has abounded from the red carpets to the ceremony stages and beyond. The 2018 Grammy Awards continued this long-overdue tide of change, with one moment in particular standing out: Janelle Monae’s gripping speech calling Time’s Up on the music industry.

Monae took the stage to introduce Kesha’s performance of “Praying”—a performance already loaded with meaning, given Kesha’s personal story of survival and resilience in the face of alleged workplace harassment and sexual assault. But Monae’s spoken words were every bit as riveting as the onstage performance that followed, with the artist calling for the waves of change to carry over into the music industry.

“I am proud to stand in solidarity as not just an artist, but a young woman, with my fellow sisters in this room who make up the music industry—artists, writers, assistants, publicists, CEOs, producers, engineers, and women from all sectors of the business,” Monae opened. “We are also daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, and human beings. We come in peace, but we mean business.”

She went on to declare that this movement isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. “To those who would dare try and silence us, we offer you two words: Time’s up,” Monae said. “We say time’s up for pay inequality, discrimination or harassment of any kind, and the abuse of power.” She continued: “It’s not just going on in Hollywood, or in Washington, it’s right here in our industry as well. And just as we have the power to shape culture, we also have the power to undo the culture that does not serve us well. So, let’s work together, women and men, as a united music industry committed to creating more safe work environments, equal pay, and access for all women.”

Monae concluded by calling the “fearless” Kesha, as well as Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Andra Day, Bebe Rexha, Julia Michaels, and the Resistance Revival Chorus, to the stage for a performance of “Praying” that echoed the sentiments Monae spoke of: solidarity, strength, and, support.

Watch the powerful moment below:

Related: Janelle Monae Is Deeply Committed to Wearing Black and White on the Red Carpet