Grammys introduce new committee to tackle biases against women artists

President Neil Portow is under pressure to resign from his role.

February 02, 2018
Grammys introduce new committee to tackle biases against women artists Getty/Kevin Winter / Staff

The Grammys took a bashing after a shockingly low number of women artists won awards at this year's ceremony. The problematic nature of the results was then added to when Grammys president Neil Portnow said that women needed to "step up" in the future. He subsequently apologized for that comment but the lasting damage remains. In an apparent effort to fix things, the Grammys has announced plans to form an independent committee designed to tackle biases against women at their awards.

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Portnow’ issued a new statement introducing the plan, saying "We will also place ourselves under a microscope and tackle whatever truths are revealed." His full statement reads:

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.

The statement arrives as Portnow faces pressure to step down from his role. Several female music industry executives have shared an open letter calling on him to resign. Many women artists, including Charli XCX and Pink, have criticized the Grammys president.

Grammys introduce new committee to tackle biases against women artists