Singer India Arie is taking a stand to The Recording Academy President Neil Portnow’s remarks about women. The backlash comes from Neil Portnow’s comment after the show stating female artists need to “step up,” which has not been sitting well with many.
Several artists such as Pink, Iggy Azalea & Sheryl Crow spoke up about the comment made by Neil. India Arie penned a letter to response to his comments, read what she had to say below:
In this performance, “Worthy” is behind me on this stage, because it is my favorite word, my mantra, my life’s philosophy. I KNOW NOW, with NO uncertainty, that regardless of the lack of compassion and fairness that the world shows us at times, That I AM WORTHY! WE ALL ARE.
My favorite definition of this word is: deserving of regard and respect. And anytime someone comes to treat me as less, I know THEY are mistaken.
Neil Portnow is mistaken. His statements are a mess, but I get why he can’t empathize with women and women of color. HE is saying, the more women there are, the more chances women have to WIN. BUT. WE NEED MORE WOMEN, more WOMEN OF COLOR AND MORE INCLUSIVE MINDED PEOPLE in positions of power, in the rooms where decisions are made. When this happens, doors will open for women to be represented in more DIVERSE WAYS. The music industry is dominated by white men and the Grammys and NARAS are run and produced by ONLY white men. The fact that Portnow says we’d “be welcomed” indicates that he doesn’t think we’re part of the household to begin with.
Portnow has released an apology statement stating:
“Sunday night, I was asked a question about the lack of female artist representation in certain categories of this year’s Grammy Awards,” “Regrettably, I used two words, ‘step up,’ that, when taken out of context, do not convey my beliefs and the point I was trying to make.” – Neil told People.com
Singer Vanessa Carlton has setup a petition to have Neil Portnow removed from his position.
Attention everyone, especially musicians: Step up. And sign the petition to have Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy/Grammy’s, to step down. We are close to our goal of 10000 votes. Pass along. https://t.co/GGOY95eUhy
— Vanessa Carlton (@VanessaCarlton) January 31, 2018