As we reported here, nearly as week after the 60th annual Grammy Awards aired the show is still very much a hot topic. Initially, viewer complaints harped primarily on the lack of diversity among winners, specifically a poor celebration of nominees that were female and/or people of color. However, once the Grammy president – Neil Portnow – weighed in on the backlash with some interestingly worded remarks the fallout shifted to him directly.
Taking to press, Portnow indicated women needed to ‘step up’ in order to see more inclusion – a statement most believe insinuated he thinks their contributions were less worthy of recognition than their male counterparts. Sending shockwaves throughout the industry, female artists like P!nk, India Arie, Katy Perry, and Vanessa Carlton immediately sprung to action, with the latter even promoting a petition which aims to see him relieved of his leadership position in the Recording Academy.
As if that’s not enough, female executives – including some of Portnow’s own cohorts – are calling for similar action. Details inside:
As of time reported, the petition calling for Portnow’s resignation has nearly reached its 14,000 signature goal (click here to see). Add to this, some of his female colleagues are also putting pressure on the Recording Academy for him to step down. CNN reported an open letter was issued by a coalition of female music executives which read:
“We step up every single day and have been doing so for a long time. The fact that you don’t realize this means it’s time for you to step down,” the letter reads. “Today we are stepping up and stepping in to demand your resignation.”
In an attempt to extinguish the flames set by his inflammatory remarks, Portnow not only issued an apology for his word choice (which can be read here), but he also announced the creation of a new task force at the Recording Academy designed to promote “female advancement.”
It was too little too late. The final version of the letter included a statement that read:
“Your attempt to backpedal only emphasizes your refusal to recognize us and our achievements. Your most recent remarks do not constitute recognition of women’s achievements, but rather a call for men to take action to ‘welcome’ women,” the letter read.