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Grammy chief regrets ‘women need to step up’ remark

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Recording Academy president/ CEO Neil Portnow has sort of apologised for his “women need to step up” comment, saying he was not as articulate as he should have been. Portnow's remark prompted angry social media posts from musicians such as Charli XCX, Sheryl Crow and others.

“Sunday night, I was asked a question about the lack of female artist representation in certain categories of this year’s Grammy Awardss. Regrettably, I used two words, 'step up,' that, when taken out of context, do not convey my beliefs and the point I was trying to make,” he said in a statement to Variety.

Portnow said the recording industry must recognise that women who dream of careers in music face barriers that men have never faced. “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.”

While the award ceremony was high on diversity talk, the awards were dominated by men except for Alessia Cara's win in Best New Artist category.

Asked about the lack of women in the winner's list, Portnow had said, “It has to begin with... Women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level... (They need) to step up because I think they would be welcome.”

In a handwritten note posted on her Instagram, Pink criticised the comment. “Women in music don't need to 'step up' – women have been stepping since the beginning of time. Stepping up, and also stepping aside. Women OWNED music this year. They've been KILLING IT. And every year before this.

When we celebrate and honor the talent and accomplishments of women, and how much women STEP UP every year, and how much women STEP UP every year, against all odds, we show the next generation of women and girls and boys and men what it means to be equal, and what it looks like to be fair.”

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