Academy of Country Music Establishes Diversity Task Force
The Academy of Country Music has established a task force to examine the issues facing women and minorities in country music. The move comes a few weeks after the announcement of 2019's ACM Awards nominees -- a group that, notably, does not include any female Entertainer of the Year nominees.
Academy of Country Music CEO Pete Fisher revealed the news of the organization's new task force to Billboard. According to the news outlet, the task force will "examine barriers and biases affecting women and underrepresented groups in country music" and "provide constructive recommendations about where progress can be made within the academy as well as the industry at large." Further details are expected later in March.
The ACM's 2019 awards nominees list drew criticism due to its lack of female Entertainer of the Year nominees. Most prominently, 2019 ACM Awards host Reba McEntire admitted her disappointment at that news after announcing some of the awards nominees on CBS This Morning.
"It doesn't make me very happy because we've got some very talented women out there who are working their butts off," McEntire said in the same segment during which she revealed nominees on the nationally syndicated morning show. “I’m missing my girlfriends on this list.”
Nominated for Entertainer of the Year nine times, McEntire won the prestigious honor at the 1994 ACMs, but it's been a heavily male-dominated category in the years since. The last female Entertainer of the Year was Taylor Swift in 2012; since the award was established in 1971, women have won it only 10 times.
In fact, no women have been nominated for Entertainer of the Year since 2017; the last time more than one woman was nominated in the category was 2014. The 2019 nominees are Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton and Jason Aldean.
“It’s something the country music community has taken note of, that women artists aren’t being truly recognized like they need to, and it’s something on everybody’s radar," adds Bryan. "I think Reba has earned the right to voice her opinion on matters like that. Somebody like Reba has to stand up and say to the Academy of Country Music and all forms of country music award shows [that it's a problem]."
The ACM's new task force follows in the footsteps of a similar initiative by the Recording Academy, the parent organization of the Grammy Awards. Their Diversity and Inclusion Task Force is examining the issues affecting women, people of color and other minority groups in the music industry; singer-songwriter Cam is a member, as is Beth Laird, the CEO and co-owner of Creative Nation, a Nashville-based music company she co-owns with her husband, songwriter Luke Laird.
The 2019 ACM Awards are set to take place in Las Vegas, Nev., on April 7, and air live on CBS beginning at 8PM ET. The ceremony will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The Boot will be staying up late covering the most buzzed-about winners, fashion and moments at the 2019 ACM Awards. Readers can watch along with us by checking back to TheBoot.com for the latest ACMs headlines, liking The Boot on Facebook and following The Boot on Twitter.
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