You oughta know: Why Alanis Morissette dumped her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performance

The singer was supposed to honor Carly Simon by singing "You're So Vain," but dropped out suddenly Saturday

By Joy Saha

Staff Writer

Published November 8, 2022 5:00PM (EST)

Alanis Morissette, 2022 Inductee speaks onstage during the 2022 Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame Gala at Massey Hall on September 24, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario. (Jeremy Chan/Getty Images)
Alanis Morissette, 2022 Inductee speaks onstage during the 2022 Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame Gala at Massey Hall on September 24, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario. (Jeremy Chan/Getty Images)

A night that was supposed to honor one woman's contribution to rock and roll was tarnished with allegations of sexism.

Carly Simon's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was supposed to be celebrated during the ceremony Saturday night. Although the singer herself couldn't attend due to a "personal tragedy," Sara Bareilles performed Simon's "Nobody Does It Better" in tribute. That was supposed to be followed by Olivia Rodrigo and Alanis Morissette dueting on "You're So Vain," but the Canadian rock-star dropped out.

According to Variety, Morissette had participated in rehearsals on Friday before she dropped out of her grand performance and exited the production without giving a reason at the time. On Monday, Morissette explained her decision in a lengthy statement posted on her Instagram story. She made it clear that her frustrations did not concern Simon, Rodrigo or the other female artists who were honored or featured on the show. 

"There are some mis-informed rumblings about my not performing at The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony this past weekend," Morissette wrote. "Firstly, I have to say how much I adore Carly Simon and Olivia Rodrigo and Dolly Parton and Janet Jackson and Pat Benetar and Sheryl Crow and Pink and Brandi Carlile and Sara Bareilles — and all the amazing people and artists who were there." 

Morissette condemned the Rock Hall's production team, claiming that her experience with them greatly contrasted the "countless incredible experiences" she's had "with production teams with all genders throughout my life." 

"I have spent decades in an industry that is rife with an overarching anti-woman sentiment and have tolerated a lot of condescension and disrespectfulness, reduction, dismissiveness, contract-breaching, unsupportiveness, exploitation and psychological violence (and more) throughout my career," she continued. "I tolerated it because nothing would stop me from connecting with those who I cared about and resonated with. I live to serve and connect with people and so over the years I sucked it up on more occasions than I can count in order to do so. It's hard not to be affected in any industry around the world, but Hollywood has been notorious for its disrespect of the feminine in all of us."

Morissette then finished, saying, "Thankfully, I am at a point in my life where there is no need for me to spend time in an environment that reduces women. I have had countless incredible experiences with production teams with all genders throughout my life. So many, and so fun. There is nothing better than a team of diverse people coming together with one mission. I'll continue to show up in those environments with bells on. :)"

This isn't the first time Morissette has spoken out about sexism, exploitation and mistreatment in the music industry. In her 2021 HBO documentary "Jagged," she revealed that she was raped by multiple men when she was 15 years old and struggled to come forward with her story.

"I'm going to need some help because I never talk about this," Morissette said in the documentary, according to The Washington Post. "It took me years in therapy to even admit there had been any kind of victimization on my part. I would always say I was consenting, and then I'd be reminded like 'Hey, you were 15, you're not consenting at 15.' Now I'm like, 'Oh yeah, they're all pedophiles. It's all statutory rape.'"

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She added, "You know a lot of people say, 'Why did that woman wait 30 years? And I'm like f**k off. They don't wait 30 years. No one was listening or their livelihood was threatened or their family was threatened. The whole 'Why do women wait' thing? Women don't wait. Our culture doesn't listen."

Following the documentary's release, however, Morissette criticized it harshly, asserting in a statement that she was "lulled into a false sense of security, and their salacious agenda became apparent immediately upon my seeing the first cut of the film."

"While there is beauty and some elements of accuracy in this/my story to be sure — I ultimately won't be supporting someone else's reductive take on a story much too nuanced for them to ever grasp or tell," she concluded.

By Joy Saha

Joy Saha is a staff writer at Salon. She writes about food news and trends and their intersection with culture. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Alanis Morissette Brief Music Music Industry Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Sexism