Music

The Grammys Are Creating An ‘Independent Task Force’ To Address Their Problems With Women


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Between last weekend’s ceremony and now, the Grammys have been in damage control mode, since women were basically shut out of the show, and since Grammy President Neil Portnow’s response to that controversy only generated more controversy. Now, Portnow has released a statement in the aftermath of all of this, and in it, he says that his words, “while not reflective of my beliefs, echo the real experience of too many women.”

In the letter addressed “to the music community,” Portnow also says that the Recording Academy is creating “an independent task force” that will “review every aspect of what we do as an organization and identify where we can do more to overcome the explicit barriers and unconscious biases that impede female advancement in the music community.” He also writes that the Academy “will place [itself] under a microscope and tackle whatever truths are revealed.”

While this step might seem like a move in the right direction, there is a significant contingent of music fans who would rather see Portnow lose his job, and they’ve signed a popular petition in an effort to help make that happen.

Read Portnow’s full statement here or below.

“To The Music Community—

After hearing from many friends and colleagues, I understand the hurt that my poor choice of words following last Sunday’s GRAMMY telecast has caused. I also now realize that it’s about more than just my words. Because those words, while not reflective of my beliefs, echo the real experience of too many women. I’d like to help make that right.

The Recording Academy is establishing an independent task force to review every aspect of what we do as an organization and identify where we can do more to overcome the explicit barriers and unconscious biases that impede female advancement in the music community. We will also place ourselves under a microscope and tackle whatever truths are revealed.

I appreciate that the issue of gender bias needs to be addressed in our industry, and share in the urgency to attack it head on. We as an organization, and I as its leader, pledge our commitment to doing that. We will share more information about the steps we are taking in the coming weeks.

Sincerely,

Neil Portnow
President/CEO of the Recording Academy”

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