Grammy president and CEO Neil Portnow is in hot water over his sexist remarks after this past weekend’s 60th Annual Grammy Awards. After Alessia Cara was the only woman who won a major award for her work this year, Portnow commented about the lack of women winners, saying that women artists should “step up” if they want to be awarded.
“I think 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, who want to be producers, who want to be part of the industry on the executive level to step up. Because I think they would be welcome,” he said.
Though he later apologized, the statement sparked outrage and prompted a petition titled “Academy President Must Step Down for Telling Female Musicians to ‘Step Up’ After Grammy’s” to sweep the Internet. The petition already surpassed 12,000 signatures and demands that Portnow is let go over his remark. “Please show your support for female musicians, and women trying to break through in all areas of the music industry, by signing this petition demanding that Neil Portnow resign from The Recording Academy now,” it reads.
The petition does not have any direct tie to the Grammy’s and is at most a suggestion to the Recording Academy. Portnow has since apologized for his choice of words, saying that they have been taken out of context and do not support his beliefs.