Janelle Monáe delivered an important message about gender equality during the Grammy Awards on Sunday.
The singer and actress introduced Kesha’s powerful performance by standing in solidarity with the “Time’s Up” initiative, which was created to combat sexual harassment and assault across all industries. Monáe, who has been an outspoken advocate for social justice, showed her support with a “Time’s Up” pin and white rose.
“Tonight 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,” Monáe told the crowd. “Artists, writers, assistants, publicists, CEOs, producers, engineers, women from all sectors of the business. We are also daughters, wives, mothers, sisters and human beings. We come in peace, but we mean business.”
Monáe asked women and men to work together “as a united music industry” to combat sexual harassment and assault, and to promote fair and safe work environments.
“To those who would dare try to silence us, we offer you two words: Time’s up. We say time’s up for pay inequality. Time’s up for discrimination. Time’s up for harassment of any kind. And time’s up for the abuse of power,” she said. “Because, you see, it’s not just going on in Hollywood. It’s not just going on 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.”
Watch her full speech below.