The significance of all those white roses on the Grammys red carpet

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Susan Devaney
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At this year’s Grammys, celebrities came together to show their solidarity with the Time’s Up initiative on the red carpet through the small, simple gesture of adorning a white rose. 

The conversation on the red carpet at awards shows has centred around support and solidarity for victims of sexual assault since the Time’s Up initiative was launched at the Golden Globes this year.

And it continued at this year’s Grammys on Sunday 28 January in New York City as celebrities – from Anna Kendrick and Lady Gaga to Kelly Clarkson - took to the ceremony adoring (or carrying) a pure white rose.

The discreet and symbolic gesture was part of a planned protest created by Roc Nation senior VP Meg Harkins and Karen Rait, of rhythmic promotion at Interscope/Geffen/A&M Records.

“We all agreed it was really necessary,” Harkins said.

“We’ve all felt the political and cultural change in the last couple of months.”

“We choose the white rose because historically it stands for hope, peace, sympathy and resistance,” Harkins wrote in an email sent to attendees of the 60th annual Grammy awards.

From Hillary Clinton’s iconic white trouser suit to the suffragettes’ use of the shade during their protest marches, the colour white has long been associated with women’s rights and freedom. In fact, it is said to symbolise both quality of pure purpose.

So, naturally, the academy decided to use the hue as a means of demonstrating their full support towards the Time’s Up protest:

“We, the Academy, believe in freedom of speech, and the Grammys is a place where artists get to express themselves. They express themselves primarily through their music, and then sometimes, they have something to say in an acceptance speech,” Recording Academy president Neil Portnow told InStyle at the MusiCares tribute on Friday night.

“We welcome that. You’ll get the temperature of our community on Sunday as to what’s important and what are they feeling and what they sort of want to tip their hat to, and so we encourage that.”

Here are a few celebrities who adorned a white rose:

Images: Rex Features / Twitter