Top Female Record Execs Slam Grammys Academy as ‘Out of Touch’

The joint letter was signed by Universal Music Group executive vp Michele Anthony; Atlantic Records’ co-chairman Julie Greenwald; Epic Records president Sylvia Rhone; Sony general counsel Julie Swidler and Roc Nation COO Desiree Perez

Six top female record executives at major record labels and music publishers have called out the Grammys for being “woefully out of touch with today’s music, the music business, and even more significantly, society” and calls for the Academy to be more inclusive and transparent.

The joint letter sent to the Recording Academy’s board of trustees and obtained by the New York Times, was signed by Universal Music Group executive vp Michele Anthony; Atlantic Records’ co-chairman Julie Greenwald; Epic Records president Sylvia Rhone; Sony general counsel Julie Swidler and Roc Nation COO Desiree Perez.

The joint letter comes after Recording Academy president Neil Portnow made comments following last Sunday’s Grammy Awards that women need to “step up” to improve the music industry’s glaring gender imbalance.

“Neil Portnow’s comments are not a reflection of being ‘inarticulate’ in a single interview. They are, unfortunately, emblematic of a much larger issue with the Naras organization as a whole on the broader set of inclusion issues across all demographics,” the women wrote, referring to the academy by an acronym for its legal name, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Portnow’s comments drew criticism from various recording artists, including Pink, who wrote, “Women in music don’t need to ‘step up’. Women have been stepping up since the beginning of time. Stepping up, and also stepping aside… When we celebrate and honour the talent and accomplishments of women, and how much women step up every year, against all odds, we show the next generation of women and girls and boys and men what it means to be equal.”