C’mon ladies, we just need to “step up”!
Well that’s what Recording Academy president Neil Portnow suggested, after male artists swept up the major awards at the 2018 Grammy awards on Sunday.
Portnow told Variety that in order to avoid the #GrammysSoMale issue, women need to “step up” — because he thinks they would “be welcome”.
Here’s his full quote:
“I think it has to begin with women who have the creativity in their hearts and their souls – who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, who want to be producers, who want to be part of the industry on an executive level – to step up, because I think they would be welcome.”
He added that he doesn’t have the “personal experience” with the brick walls women face, but he believes that a combination of the industry throwing out the welcome mat, along with mentoring and other opportunities, will help fix the problem.
Mentoring. Really. It’s bad enough hearing male business leaders describe mentoring as some silver-bullet solution. But in the music industry? Surely men need mentoring as much as women.
I was somewhat shocked to read research findings that less than 10% of Grammy nominees have been female in recent years. Naively, I’d assumed that given I’ve been hearing from so many talented women and streaming them on Spotify, that they would also be getting nominated, and picking up, big awards.
Alessia Cara was the only woman presented a solo Grammy during the telecast ceremony on Sunday night. Other solo artists took home awards during the pre-telecast section of the ceremony, including Lisa Loeb, Reba McEntire, Aimee Mann, and Carrie Fisher
New Zealand artist Lorde was the only woman nominated in the Album of the Year category, but was also the only artist in that category not offered an onstage performance.
When Variety asked Ken Ehrlich, executive producer of the show, about why Lorde was snubbed, he said that “she had a great album” but they can’t deal with everybody.
Sorry Lorde, maybe next time you make an epic, career-defining album, you’ll be asked to join the big boys on stage.
One assumes Neil Portnow was watching when Janelle Monae’s delivered her powerful message during the event that, “We come in peace, but we mean business” and that ‘Time’s Up” on discrimination in the industry.
So did he actually hear the message?
It’s not the female recording artists who need mentoring.
Meanwhile, Lorde’s message, worn on the back of her dress, was fitting: