Culture

Recording Academy Announces Task Force to Improve "Female Advancement" at Grammy Awards

Recording Academy Announces Task Force to Improve

More than a dozen female music executives have issued an open letter calling for the resignation of Neil Portnow as the Recording Academy president and CEO.

In a new statement, Neil addressed several topics making headlines.

The announcement comes days after Portnow claimed his comments on women needing to "step up" in the music industry were taken out of context.

Portnow went back on his statement and said they were a "poor choice of words" and that "gender bias" in the industry needs to be addressed. Emerging R&B star SZA was the most nominated female artist, up for five awards, but also failed to take home an award.

But his efforts may be too late-and not almost enough to address a widespread problem that many women say he's only made worse. "I'd like to help make that right", he added.

The Recording Academy, which is comprised of 13,000 music professionals who vote on the industry's most prestigious awards, said it was setting up an independent task force to examine the role of gender in the awards.

"We will also place ourselves under a microscope and tackle whatever truths are revealed", he said.

Just as Portnow was announcing the task force, almost two dozen women executives in music called on him to resign.

Portnow writes that "we as an organization, and I as its leader", pledge to dismantle the gender inequality and discrimination women in the music industry face.

"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 women wrote.

According to the letter, more specifics will be announced "in the coming weeks". New Zealand singer Lorde also was the only female artist to be nominated for the night's top honour, Album of the Year - but also the only nominee in that category not to perform. The fact that you don't realize this means it's time for you to step down.

Or perhaps Portnow should comment on how Grammy performer Kesha had her career stalled for years after a judge refused to release her from her contract with Dr. Luke, the producer who sexually assaulted her, and was only given a platform at the Grammy's after #MeToo became a trending hashtag and the cause du jour at this year's awards ceremonies.

Today we are stepping up and stepping in to demand your resignation.

The executives aren't the only people fed up with the status quo at the Grammys; a petition has been circulating online calling for Portnow to step down.



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