October 19, 2021

The GRAMMY Awards® becomes the first major music awards show production to publicly commit to using an Inclusion Rider

Santa Monica, Calif. (Oct. 19, 2021) Today the Recording Academy® released its official GRAMMY Awards® Inclusion Rider, a contract addendum designed to be a robust tool to ensure equity and inclusion at every level during the production of the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards®, taking place on Jan. 31, 2022. The Recording Academy originally announced the plan to incorporate an inclusion rider on Aug. 4, 2021, partnering with Color Of Change as part of the larger #ChangeMusic Initiative. Esteemed co-authors include Kalpana Kotagal (partner, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll), Fanshen Cox (production and development executive, Pearl Street Films) and key contributors Valeisha Butterfield Jones (Co-President, Recording Academy) and Allie-Ryan Butler (founding director, Warner Music | Blavatnik Center for Music Business at Howard University). 

The GRAMMYs® is the first major music awards show production to publicly commit to using an inclusion rider, exemplifying the Academy's leadership and ingenuity in infusing the highest standards of inclusion, belonging and representation. Building on the diversity of the team who produced last year's show, the Academy hopes to help inspire peers to modernize hiring practices industry-wide and foster an environment of inclusion.

"I am proud that the Academy is leading the charge in releasing an Inclusion Rider for the music community that counters systematic bias," said Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy. "We were proud to work with a very diverse crew last year for the GRAMMY Awards, and this is the culmination of a years-long effort to create a rider for the production of the GRAMMYs. But this is only the beginning. We are committed to putting in the real work required to help create a pipeline of diverse talent and drastically change representation."

"With the Inclusion Rider, Color Of Change and the Recording Academy are working to change the rules that have enabled systemic discrimination in the music business for far too long," said Rashad Robinson, president of Color Of Change. "The Inclusion Rider is a concrete accountability mechanism aimed at breaking through an endless stream of empty commitments. It will ensure that Black people finally gain the authority in the industry that matches their essential contributions to it. An initiative of #ChangeMusic, the Inclusion Rider changes the rules of the industry’s hiring and management practices to open up opportunities for work and promotion that have long been denied."

"The GRAMMY Awards Inclusion Rider includes the tool’s four key elements which are essential to driving improvement in representation and equity: a commitment to deepening and diversifying hiring pools, benchmarks and targets for hiring, the collection and analysis of applicant and hiring data, and strict accountability measures," said civil rights attorney Kalpana Kotagal, Inclusion Rider co-author and partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll. "By committing to use the Inclusion Rider for its 2022 production, the GRAMMY Awards is not only ensuring a more equitable and diverse hiring process, it is also setting an important standard for inclusivity and representation at award shows moving forward."

Originating in the film and television industries, the Inclusion Rider is a contract provision that sets forth a process for hiring and casting to expand and diversify the candidate pool, encourages hiring qualified cast and crew who have been traditionally underrepresented in productions, tracks progress, and creates accountability.

About the Recording Academy

The Recording Academy represents the voices of performers, songwriters, producers, engineers, and all music professionals. Dedicated to ensuring the recording arts remain a thriving part of our shared cultural heritage, the Academy honors music's history while investing in its future through the GRAMMY Museum®, advocates on behalf of music creators, supports music people in times of need through MusiCares®, and celebrates artistic excellence through the GRAMMY Awards — music's only peer-recognized accolade and highest achievement. As the world's leading society of music professionals, we work year-round to foster a more inspiring world for creators.

For more information about the Academy, please visit www.grammy.com. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @RecordingAcad on Twitter, "like" Recording Academy on Facebook, and join the Recording Academy's social communities on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

About Color of Change

Color Of Change is the nation's largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over 7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and governments to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. Visit www.colorofchange.org

About Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC is recognized as one of the premier law firms in the country handling major, complex plaintiff-side litigation. With more than 100 attorneys, Cohen Milstein has offices in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Ill., New York, N.Y., Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Philadelphia, Pa. and Raleigh, N.C. For additional information, visit www.cohenmilstein.com  or call 202.408.4600.

About Warner Music | Blavatnik Center For Music Business

Warner Music | Blavatnik Center For Music Business Fellowship Program at Howard University is a one-year fellowship program for high potential students interested in pursuing careers in the music industry. The program provides fellows with coaching, specialized curriculum, mentorship and hands-on industry experience working with influential partner organizations. Students will also receive exclusive access to insider perspectives through an executive-in-residence program that engages industry leaders. Through the center, music executives will participate in a series of fireside chats, master classes and other programming that will expose students to the lived experiences of working in the industry. Finally, the center will provide engaging programming for all members of the Howard University community and the broader community to participate in, including guest lectures, business case competitions, and more.


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Press Contacts

Andie Cox

Recording Academy

T. 310.581.8654 // andie.cox@recordingacademy.com 


Corinne Becker

Porter Novelli (For Recording Academy)