After a meagre 17 percent the Grammys were awarded to women at this weekend’s festivities, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow put the onus on women in the industry to “step up” — but he’s now walking back on those comments.
In a statement to Variety, Portnow said that the phrase “step up” had been taken out context and did not reflect his beliefs.
The rest his statement reads:
Our industry must recognize that women who dream 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.
Portnow’s original comments stemmed from a question about that lack female representation in many the Grammy Award categories.
“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 the industry on the executive level,” he said. “They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome.”
The original remarks drew ire from a number high-prile female artists, including Grammy performer P!nk, Charli XCX, Tegan and Sara, Iggy Azalea, and Halsey.