It’s been nearly a week since the 59th annual Grammy Awards aired and people are still very much up-in-arms over a number of infamous moments from the telecast.
After Adele‘s historic sweep of the Album, Song, and Record of the Year categories, conversation erupted about how few times people of color have won the ceremony’s top honor over its 59 year history. This added to the fact this year’s most nominated acts – Beyonce, Rihanna, Drake, Kanye West, and Chance the Rapper – mostly walked away with minor awards (if any awards at all).
As if that wasn’t enough, there were a number of sound snafus and technical mixups over the show including Metallica lead singer’s, James Hetfield, mic being completely off during a portion of the group’s performance with Lady Gaga and a picture of gospel singer Cece Winans being displayed behind a caption that read “Shirley Caesar.“
Tuck in below to read the Recording Academy’s response to all the hoopla:
On claims of racism [quote by Recording Academy president Neil Portnow]:
“It’s more about personal taste, so it’s hard for me to criticize when we see no basis that [the results] are about anything other than music, and certainly not race” — Portnow does concede that while “we’ve come a long way as an organization, we’re certainly not complacent or satisfied with where we are — but we also need the participation of the communities to do more. That’s how democracy works.”
“[Some of] the comments I’ve seen come from not understanding at all how this works,” says Portnow. “It’s one thing to be a critic, and another to join and vote and be part of the change that you want to see.”
“I understand that people might feel left out,” says Portnow. “But it’s really simple: Participate and vote, and then you’re part of the conversation. Not only do we encourage and welcome that,” he concludes, “we need it.”
On technical mixups [quote by Ken Ehrlich, Grammy producer]:
“These kinds of things are horrible when they happen,” Ken Ehrlich said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday. “That’s one of the risks of live television.”
“Obviously, we apologize to the band [Metallica],” Ehrlich said, calling the mishap “awful.”
“We obviously want to apologize to Shirley Caesar,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that happened.”
Metallica’s drummer weighs in on sound snafu: