Grammys president Neil Portnow received immense backlash after responding to a reporter asking about the show's failure to recognize female musicians by saying that “[women need] to step up because I think they would be welcome."
To be clear—in the Best Pop Vocal Performance category, for example, Ed Sheeran won for singing a song about being "in love with [a woman at the club's] body," beating out Kesha's anthem about rape and the legal battle that ensued, "Praying," and Gaga's heartbreak ballad "Million Reasons." Only one woman received a televised award this year. A recent report finds that in the past six years, more than 90 percent of Grammy nominees have been men.
Now, Portnow has released an official statement of regret for his foolish words, trying to back track on his misogyny. This comes from Variety:
Sunday night, I was asked a question about the lack of female artist representation in certain categories of this year’s Grammy Awards. 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.
Our industry must recognize that women who dream of careers in music face barriers that men have never faced. We must actively work to eliminate these barriers and encourage women to live their dreams and express their passion and creativity through music. We must welcome, mentor, and empower them. Our community will be richer for it.
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.