BREAKING NEWS: Itawamba Sheriff's Department searches for missing teen Full Story

Female executives pen letter calling for Grammys president's ouster

The call for Recording Academy president Neil Portnow to step down reached a fever pitch on Thursday when prominent w...

Posted: Feb. 2, 2018 10:39 AM
Updated: Feb. 2, 2018 10:39 AM

The call for Recording Academy president Neil Portnow to step down reached a fever pitch on Thursday when prominent women in the music industry issued a letter demanding sweeping change.

More than 20 female artists and female music executives penned a letter, a copy of which was published by Variety, calling for Portnow's resignation.

"We step up every single day and have been doing so for a long time. The fact that you don't realize this means it's time for you to step down," the letter reads. "Today we are stepping up and stepping in to demand your resignation."

NBC News reported on Thursday evening that a final copy of the letter will be "released soon."

Variety questioned Portnow on the issue of female representation after Sunday's Grammys when #GrammysSoMale trended in reference to the lack of female winners.

He told the publication that female artists need to "step up."

"It has to begin with... women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level," he said. "[They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome."

The social media outcry from musicians and fans prompted Portnow to later walk back the comment in a statement provided to CNN.

"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," he said in the statement issued on Tuesday.

But by then, it was too late.

Thursday's letter was released minutes after Portnow announced a new task force at the Recording Academy with the aim to promote "female advancement."

"Your attempt to backpedal only emphasizes your refusal to recognize us and our achievements. Your most recent remarks do not constitute recognition of women's achievements, but rather a call for men to take action to 'welcome' women," the letter read.

Portnow did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

Article Comments

49° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 49°
51° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 51°
46° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 46°
50° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 50°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather

Latest Video


Joel's Friday Morning Forecast: Warmer today, showers overnight


Joel's Friday Morning Forecast: Warmer today followed by overnight showers


Matt - "More Rain"


Shots fired call under investigation in Tupelo


Area Scores (October 18, 2018)


Man sent to hospital after shooting


Parents charged with child neglect in Lowndes County


No homeless people found at President's Gate Aoartnebts


Matt - "Rain Returns"


Matt - "More Rain Soon"