Neil Portnow instructed ladies to “step up” they usually did — however they’re additionally stepping towards him.
A bunch of feminine music-industry senior executives referred to as for Portnow’s resignation as Recording Academy chief in a letter Thursday.
“The assertion you made this week about ladies in music needing to “step up” was spectacularly fallacious and insulting and, at its core, oblivious to the huge physique of labor created by and with ladies. Your try and backpedal solely emphasizes your refusal to acknowledge us and our achievements,” the letter, signed by 21 ladies, learn.
“Your most up-to-date remarks don’t represent recognition of girls’s achievements, however moderately a name for males to take motion to “welcome” ladies. We don’t await your welcome into the fraternity. We do not need to sing louder, soar larger or be nicer to show ourselves.”
Portnow was requested after the Grammys concerning the male-dominated awards present — just one girl, Alessia Cara for Finest New Artist, took residence a significant award.
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“I feel it has to start with ladies who’ve the creativity of their hearts and souls, who need to be musicians, who need to be engineers, who need to be producers, who need to be a part of the on the chief degree to step up,” he mentioned.
“As a result of I feel they might be welcome. I don’t have private expertise of these sorts of brick partitions that you simply face however I feel it’s actually a mixture. Us as an making the welcome mat very apparent, creating mentorships, creating alternatives not just for ladies however all individuals who need to be inventive and actually paying it ahead and creating that subsequent technology of artists who really feel like they’ll do something, they’ll say something.”
The feedback acquired speedy backlash, together with feedback from Pink and Lorde. A petition asking him to step down has garnered greater than 13,000 signatures, together with Vanessa Carlton.
“The stringent necessities for members of (The Recording Academy) mirror the distorted, unequal steadiness of executives and creators in our . There’s merely not sufficient alternative and affect granted or accessible to ladies, individuals of coloration and those that establish as LGBTQ,” the music executives wrote.
“We will proceed to be puzzled as to why the Grammys don’t pretty symbolize the world wherein we reside, or we will demand change so that every one music creators and executives can flourish regardless of their gender, coloration of their pores and skin, background or sexual choice.”
Simply minutes earlier than the letter was revealed on-line, Portnow introduced that the Recording Academy would create a process drive to concentrate on “feminine development within the music neighborhood.”
“The Recording Academy is establishing an impartial process drive to evaluation each facet of what we do as a company and establish the place we will do extra to beat the specific obstacles and unconscious biases that impede feminine development within the music neighborhood. We will even place ourselves beneath a microscope and deal with no matter truths are revealed,” he wrote.
“I admire that the problem of gender bias must be addressed in our , and share within the urgency to assault it head on. We as a company, and I as its chief, pledge our dedication to doing that.”