When Recording Academy president Neil Portnow excused the Grammys’ conspicuous lack of female representation with an admonition for women to “step up” to win more awards, he set off a firestorm of backlash from women in the industry who felt that his comments were a slap in the face to women who already regularly do so only to be met with derision from many of their male peers and audiences. The latest salvo in the bombardment of responses comes from Iggy Azalea, who already knows a thing or two about how the industry tends to treat female performers despite their best efforts.
“Neil Portnow really has me heated with his ‘women need to step up’ Grammy-Boys-Club bullshit statement,” she tweeted. “Or instead of being gracious and wearing white flowers on the carpet (bringing in the viewers for his telecast in designer gowns) women should consider if we NEED to take firmer action and stay at home in PJs next year… see how that works out for Neil.”
When the story was picked up and tweeted out by ET Canada with the headline “Iggy Azalea Says Women Should Boycott Grammys Over Academy President’s Comments,” Iggy quote-tweeted and replied with a clarification, writing, “I’m not saying we should boycott anything just yet. However, if women don’t see signs of real change throughout the year a firmer stance may be needed to be taken seriously. I just want to see my peers valued. #TimesUp” Her original tweets were deleted but are still referenced in the ET story.
She further elaborated in a thread of tweets explaining her position and her anger over Portnow’s original comments. “The ‘step up’ ‘we would welcome you’ comment is infuriating for women in entertainment, for reasons far bigger than if a man or a woman wins an award or even ‘the Grammys’ themselves,” she expounded. “I think it’s that every single woman in the entertainment business has stepped up again and again and been met with the door to the boys’ clubs cigar bar slammed in their face. Watch Madonna’s women in music speech and look at the women in the crowd. They have tears in their eyes as she speaks because we ALL know first hand exactly what she’s talking about on so many levels. I don’t think any of us are saying male artists are undeserving of recognition and celebration too, but we women know what goes on behind the curtain and so that’s why that comment from Neil has the girls fuming.”
Iggy herself has some experience with dealing with unappreciative fans and label heads. Her Digital Distortion sophomore LP was effectively shelved after a lackluster response its squadron of singles.