Recording Academy President Neil Portnow Clarifies Controversial #GrammySoMale Remarks

Halsey, Pink, Charli XCX and more have also responded.

By //Music

This past Sunday, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow stirred up controversy with his response to a question from Variety concerning female representation as this year’s Grammy Awards. Speaking to Michele Amabile Angermiller about the #GrammySoMale trending topic, Portnow shared these remarks:

“It has to begin with… women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level… [They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome. I don’t have personal experience of those kinds of brick walls that you face but I think it’s upon us — us as an industry — to make the welcome mat very obvious, breeding opportunities for all people who want to be creative and paying it forward and creating that next generation of artists.”

Immediately following the publishing of his words, responses from stars like Charli XCX, Halsey and Pink poured in, challenging Portnow’s words and beliefs. “Women are making AMAZING music right now wtf is this dude talking about?” Charli XCX tweeted. “Neil’s comment was absurd. Female artists came HARD in 2017,” Halsey shared. “But the nominees are selected by peers and their opinion of the music. Which means it’s a conversation about the standards of which the ENTIRE INDUSTRY expects women to uphold.” For her part, Pink took to social media to share a handwritten note:

With an overwhelming wave of negative attention directed towards Portnow and other higher-ups at the Recording Academy, the Grammy head has clarified his comments. Once again taking to Variety, Portnow issued the following statement to clear the air:

“Sunday night, I was asked a question about the lack of female artist representation in certain categories of this year’s Grammy Awards… Regrettably, I used two words, ‘step up,’ that, when taken out of context, do not convey my beliefs and the point I was trying to make… Our industry must recognize that women who dream of careers in music face barriers that men have never faced. We must actively work to eliminate these barriers and encourage women to live their dreams and express their passion and creativity through music. We must welcome, mentor, and empower them. Our community will be richer for it… I regret that I wasn’t as articulate as I should have been in conveying this thought. I remain committed to doing everything I can to make our music community a better, safer, and more representative place for everyone.”

As pointed out by those discussing the #GrammysSoMale hashtag on social media, Alessia Cara was the only female artist to receive a Grammy Award this year, earning an accolade for “best new artist.”

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Source
Variety
Grammy AwardsCharli XCXPinkHalseyNeil Portnow2018 Grammys

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