Recording Academy President Regrets Telling Female Artists To ‘Step Up’ — Here’s What He’s Now Saying About #GrammysSoMale!

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Neil Portnow didn’t mean to upset you when he said that female artists and executives needed to “step up” in order to get more Grammys love.

The Recording Academy President/CEO sparked outrage on Sunday night over his response to the low number of lady Grammy winners in 2018, for which he suggested was due to women in the industry not working hard enough.

Yup, his response to the #GrammysSoMale controversy was that women were the problem. Cue outrage in 3… 2…

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After igniting the ire of audiences and prompting outraged responses from artists like Pink and Charli XCX, Portnow surfaced again on Tuesday morning to clarify his comments.

In a statement to Variety, the Recording Academy Prez said he regretted using the words “step up,” claiming those words do not convey his beliefs on the subject. He wrote:

“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, ├óΓé¼╦£step up,’ that, when taken out of context, do not convey my beliefs and the point I was trying to make.”

His point, he claimed, was that the industry needed to step up and work harder to eliminate the “barriers” that the women face when pursuing careers in music:

“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.”

Making sure it was clear he was walking back on his original statement, he added:

“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.”

Well, that’s nice he clarified himself — even if it was just for damage control — but he’s still glossing over the real problem here: Grammy voters are old AF!

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Everyone in the biz knows that Academy Members are people with long careers in the music industry. It’s debated to be why Adele won over Beyonc├â┬⌐‘s Lemonade last year and why Bruno Mars‘ cross-generational 24K Magic beat out the poetry of Kendrick Lamar‘s DAMN. on Sunday night.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences had the same problem during the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, which they rectified by adding a batch of younger, diverse voters.

Maybe it’s time the Recording Academy stepped up and did the same?

[Image via Jeff Grossman/WENN.]

Jan 30, 2018 10:43am PDT

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