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The 2018 BRIT Awards Plan to Make a Symbolic #TimesUp Gesture

What it means for guests at next week's ceremony to wear white rose pins in solidarity broader anti-sexism movements.
Lauren O'Neill
London, GB
White roses as worn at the 2018 Grammy Awards (Lady Gaga photo by Hannah Khymych via Instagram; Miley Cyrus photo via Instagram)

On Wednesday evening, the BRIT Awards Voting Academy made a statement. They issued a letter – to guests, performers and members who voted for this year's winners – setting out their position on the #TimesUp movement that's currently sweeping through the entertainment industry more broadly, and the music business in particular. In this case, that will entail asking attendees to wear white rose pins on the red carpet in solidarity with the movement to push for gender equality in all facets of the industry when the BRIT Awards take place next Wednesday 21 February. If this sounds vaguely familiar, that's because white roses were worn or held by some attendees of this year's Grammys too. In fact, the same group run by women executives working at record labels – they call themselves Voices in Entertainment – is behind both symbolic displays.


"Inspired by the artists, producers, executives and others in the music industry who walked the red carpet at last month’s GRAMMY Awards, The BRITs will provide artists, presenters and guests with a white rose pin as a symbol of solidarity, which we invite them to wear, if they so choose," read the BRITs letter, seen by Noisey. "Voices in Entertainment came together earlier this year to figure out what more the music industry could be doing to support TIME’S UP. The group contacted all attendees through their networks with the idea of wearing a white rose to the ceremony with an overwhelming response."

Meg Harkins, one of the 16 Voices in Entertainment co-founders also commented on the BRITs decision to make this gesture, saying:

"We are thrilled The BRITs have taken the proactive decision to support Voices in Entertainment and TIME'S UP. This is not only an important conversation in the US but all over the world and The BRITs will help focus attention on these ongoing issues."

In 2016, the BRITs established a task force "to look at inclusion and diversity across the industry." There has been no report of any attempt to form a similar group with regards to the more specific and granular issues of sexism and sexual abuse in the music industry as yet. Hopefully, however, the white rose gesture is a first step, whereby the Voting Academy will also consider implementing a similarly practical body to examine the gendered issues which affect the UK music industry.

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