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Janelle Monáe Gave A Powerful Speech About Sexual Harassment At The Grammys

"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."

Posted on January 28, 2018, at 10:39 p.m. ET

Actor-singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe gave a powerful speech at Sunday's Grammys, standing in solidarity with women affected by harassment within the music industry and elsewhere.

Afp Contributor / AFP / Getty Images

Monáe's speech was set up as an introduction before Kesha took the stage to perform "Praying," the lead single from her album Rainbow.

For quite some time now, Kesha has been embroiled in legal drama with music producer Dr. Luke, whom she accused of emotional and sexual abuse.

"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 said.

Recording Academy / CBS

"We come in peace, but we mean business," she said, before zeroing in on an issue that's been part of the national conversation for the last few months: sexual harassment. "And to those who would dare try and 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."
Recording Academy / CBS

"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."

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"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," Monáe said, noting the insidious nature of sexual harassment and assault.

Janelle Monae: We say Times Up for pay inequality, times' up for discrimination, time's up for harassment of any ki… https://t.co/dnzQ3AVmLd

"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."

Before introduing Kesha to perform, Monáe ended her speech by calling for men and women to work together "as a united music industry, committed to creating more safe work environments, equal pay, and access for all women."

Afp Contributor / AFP / Getty Images

Read Monáe's full speech below:

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: artists, writers, assistants, publicists, CEOs, producers, engineers, and 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. And to those who would dare try and 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. 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.

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.

And as artists so often do, our next performer embodies the great tradition of delivering important social messages through their music. This fearless, two-time Grammy nominee inspired so many of us, including myself, when she spoke her truth on her album, Rainbow, which was nominated for best pop vocal album tonight.

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