Halsey Is Calling Out The Grammys Boss After He Asked Female Artists To "Step Up"
30 January 2018, 12:08 | Updated: 30 January 2018, 12:13
Charli XCX and Pink have also criticised the president of the Grammys.
Artists are speaking out against the Grammys after its president seemed to suggest that women need to work harder if they want to win awards.
Speaking in response to a New York Times article, which contained the shocking statistic that out of all 899 Grammy nominees, only nine percent were women, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow told Variety, “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 of the industry on the executive level."
"[They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome," he continued.
In one way, he's right. Women in the music industry have always had to work harder than their male counterparts to get the same level of respect or success.
Portnow's comments exposed the insidious and institutionalised sexism that take place behind the scenes of the Grammys. While it might not be all that surprising to those who follow the awards closely, it's still infuriating nonetheless. Here's how artists are responding to his comments:
Neil’s comment was absurd. Female artists came HARD in 2017. But the nominees are selected by peers and their opinion of the music. Which means it’s a conversation about the standards of which the ENTIRE INDUSTRY expects women to uphold.— h (@halsey) January 30, 2018
Maybe it’s nepotism and our opinion / votes don’t actually matter. Maybe it’s selected by the Grammy board members in the end. Maybe it’s all a sham. I just really wish I got to see justice and fairness and ONE woman winning a televised award is bullshit.— h (@halsey) January 30, 2018
January 29, 2018
ugh bout 2 step up on 2 ur face.. women are making AMAZING music right now wtf is this dude talking about ????? https://t.co/EkijTA33QW— CHARLI XCX (@charli_xcx) January 29, 2018
Tegan & Sara:
Well. At least the music industry is consistent across North America in putting the blame on women for not being nominated. https://t.co/wdaDorqZy0— Tegan and Sara (@teganandsara) January 29, 2018
I wish the #Grammys would return to female/male categories. Who will young girls be inspired by to pick up a guitar and rock when most every category is filled with men? I'm not sure it is about women needing to “step up”, (as said by the male in charge). #GrammysSoMale https://t.co/v1rvbT3pCC— Sheryl Crow (@SherylCrow) January 29, 2018
Not the best response :/ Women are stepping up and making AMAZING music and have been for years. Men with privilege, power and access just need to acknowledge their existence. https://t.co/RlVGp1p8dC— Justin Tranter (@justtranter) January 29, 2018
Neil Portnow really has me heated with his "women need to step up" Grammy-Boys-Club bullshit statement.— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) January 30, 2018
Or maybe it's time for Neil Portnow to "step down" if he thinks the problem is women not stepping up. #GrammysSoMale #TimesUp https://t.co/ZWGBR6z4RA— UltraViolet (@UltraViolet) January 29, 2018
The bias towards male artists, coupled with Portnow's comments, have shown just how out of touch and outdated the Grammys have become.
As demonstrated by their shrinking viewing figures, these historic awards are fast becoming irrelevant. Now is the time for radical change in how the Grammys chooses its nominees and winners, otherwise it risks extinction all together. And, in it's current state, who could honestly say they would miss it?