Last week, Courtney Love became critical of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fameposted on Twitter and Instagram about the disparity between male and female inductees. He has covered it in an op-ed for The Guardianasked, “Why are women so marginalized in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?“
In the article, Love says that the majority of musicians in the Rock Hall are men, and also laments the loss of female music icons—namely, Big Mama Thornton, Chaka Khan, and Kate Bush—from the institution. “Making the Rock Hall canon not only reeks of sexist gatekeeping, but also purposeful ignorance and hatred,” he wrote.
According to Love, the lack of gender diversity can be attributed, in part, to the people electing the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers. “Of the 31 people on the nominating board, only nine are women,” he argued. “According to music historian Evelyn McDonnellRock Hall voters, among them musicians and industry elites, are 90% men.”
Love also suggests that the Rock Hall does not induct a disproportionate amount of Black musicians. “It’s not looking good for Black artists, though—the Beastie Boys were inducted in 2012 ahead of most Black hip-hop artists they know how to rhyme with,” he wrote. “A Tribe Called Quest, eligible since 2010 and whose music has created a new frontier for hip-hop, was nominated last year and again this year, a roll of the dice against white rockers they’re forced to compete on ballots.”
Love concludes his essay: “If the Rock Hall isn’t willing to look at the ways it replicates the violence of structural racism and sexism that artists face in the music industry, if it can’t properly honor what what female artists have done visionary, changed, changed and contributed to popular music—well, then leave it to hell in a handbag.”
Artists become eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first commercial recording. the band of love, Hole, has been eligible since 2015, but was not nominated. Love’s late husband Kurt Cobain’s band, Nirvana brought in the first year of eligibility, joined the Rock Hall as part of the class of 2014. Love attended the ceremony with Cobain’s bandmates, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic.
Nominees for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year includes: A Tribe Called Quest, Cyndi Lauper, George Michael, Kate Bush, Missy Elliott, Rage Against the Machine, Sheryl Crow, and the White Stripes.
Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for comment.