Grammy Boss Neil Portnow Launches Task Force to Focus on ‘Female Advancement’

Recording Academy president was criticized for saying that female artists need to “step up”

Recording Academy president/CEO Neil Portnow, who drew criticism for saying that female artists need to “step up” to fix the gender imbalance in the music industry, will now launch a task force aimed at improving chances of “female advancement in the music community.”

In a statement issued Thursday, Portnow acknowledged his “poor choice of words” that were “not reflective of my beliefs.”

“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,” the statement reads. “We will also place ourselves under a microscope and tackle whatever truths are revealed.”

Portnow continued, “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.”

Read the full statement below.

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