The president and CEO of the Recording Academy is retreating from comments he made Sunday night about the scarcity of women Grammy winners as criticism from artists mounts.
Neil Portnow says he “wasn’t as articulate” as he should have been when he said female artists and executives need to “step up.”
That quip prompted a quick backlash from artists, including Pink and Katy Perry, who said women have been “stepping up” in the music industry for years.
Early Tuesday, Portnow issued a statement to Variety walking back from his comments, though stopping short of an apology.
Portnow’s comments were especially upsetting as they followed an uplifting performance by Kesha and stirring speech by Janelle Monáe at Sunday’s awards that were a powerful recognition of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.