A look at advancements and setbacks for women in the entertainment industry.
BY CARLY WITT, ’23
In the past year, the world has seen a lot of growth and improvement for women. Many are living their dream careers, able to achieve what women in the past could not, creating a better society for people of all sexes. But alongside the many advances for women has also come setbacks. The entertainment industry is one place where women have seen both advancements and setbacks.
Brian Phillips, a morning radio host and music commentator at CD 92.9 said, “Other places I worked,
the program directors would schedule the music for the day, and their written or unwritten rule was no female artists back-to-back.”
This year in particular, there have been many wins for women. At the Grammys, Beyoncé became the most awarded musician in Grammy history, with 29 wins and 79 nominations. In the top 15 most Grammy awarded in history, there are only two women; Alison Krauss, who has 27 wins, and Beyoncé. The music industry is a very male-dominated space, making it an incredible victory for the most awarded in Grammy history to be a Black woman. In her speech, Beyoncé was very grateful, thanking her parents and those around her for helping her get to that milestone. Also in the Grammy cir-
cuit, Kim Petras became the first trans woman to win a Grammy, for her collaboration with
Sam Smith, who is nonbinary. Smith let Petras accept the award for it be-
ing such a historic win, and Petras was extremely excited and proud to
be representing the trans community in that way, calling out her inspira-
tions and influences in her speech.
“I grew up next to a highway in nowhere, Germany, and my mother
believed me that I was a girl, and I wouldn’t be here without her and her
support,” Petras said in her speech. Throughout history, women
have faced many adversities in the music industry. They were often sex-
ualized and put down in the misogynistic business of music.
“There was a ton of sexual harassment in the space, not only with female artists, but it was really hard for female record executives,” Phillips said. “That was this business, espe-
cially back in the day, it was an old boys network, big time.”
Viola Davis also made history that night, attaining her EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). Davis is
the third Black woman to reach EGOT status, next to Jennifer Hudson and Whoopi Goldberg. 18 people have won EGOT, 13 men and five women. She achieved it by winning a Grammy for her audiobook, titled “Finding Me.” In her speech she declared “I wrote this book to honor the 6-year-old Viola,” Davis said. “To honor her life, her joy, her trauma, everything.” But with the positives, there will always be things
that do the opposite. At the 2023 Oscars, no women were nominated for Best Director, even though their films were nominated in just about every other category. Only seven women have ever been nominated for Best Director, while 21 Johns have been nominated.