An influencer who traveled to Israel to bear witness after Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack walked the red carpet at the Grammys on Sunday night in a dress meant to call attention to the Israelis who remain hostage in Gaza.
And the CEO of the Recording Academy, Harvey Mason Jr., paid tribute during the awards ceremony to the hundreds of victims of the attack at the Nova music festival, heeding a call made last week by the CEO of the American Jewish Committee.
“Music must be our safe space. When that’s violated, it strikes at the very core of who we are,” Mason said from the stage at the awards ceremony, held at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. He proceeded to name other fatal attacks at concerts or music festivals. “We felt that at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris. We felt that at the Manchester Arena in England. We felt that at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas. And on Oct. 7, we felt that again, when we heard the tragic news from the Supernova Music Festival for Love, that over 360 music fans lost their lives and another 40 were kidnapped.”
Mason concluded, “That day and all the tragic days that have followed have been awful for the world to bear as we mourn the loss of all innocent lives.”
Mason did not name Israel, Gaza, or Hamas in his comments.
This was one of several times when the four-month Israel-Hamas war played a role at the music awards ceremony.
Some attendees reportedly were delayed by pro-Palestinian protesters demonstrating outside the ceremony.
Social media influencer Montana Tucker’s dress featured a large yellow ribbon at its center with the words “Bring Them Home,” referring to the more than 100 Israelis who have been held hostage in Gaza since Oct. 7. Tucker, who is Jewish, visited Israel in December, one of a number of influencers to do so, and organized a flash mob there with a survivor of the Nova festival.
The ceremony comes a month after a handful of attendees wore yellow ribbons to the Golden Globes award ceremony, following an advocacy effort by families of hostages.
The hostage family movement did not publicly make a push for displays of support at the Grammys, but AJC CEO Ted Deutch had done so, urging the Recording Academy to call attention to the Nova victims. He thanked the academy for Mason’s tribute in a statement.
“While our hearts continue to ache for those who were lost, we take comfort in tonight’s stirring tribute,” Deutch said. “Music can be a great source of healing.”
Taylor Swift and the pop trio Boygenius were the big winners during the awards ceremony, but Jack Antonoff — a graduate of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County in New Milford, who once wore a Jewish star necklace to another awards ceremony — took home the prize for producer of the year, non-classical, for the third consecutive year.
Jewish Telegraphic Agency