Halsey Is Calling Out The Grammys Boss After He Asked Female Artists To "Step Up"

30 January 2018, 12:08

Halsey Bruno Mars Grammy Awards
Picture: Getty
Woodrow Whyte

By Woodrow Whyte

Charli XCX and Pink have also criticised the president of the Grammys.

Artists are speaking out against the Grammys after its president seemed to suggest that women need to work harder if they want to win awards.

Speaking in response to a New York Times article, which contained the shocking statistic that out of all 899 Grammy nominees, only nine percent were women, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow told Variety, “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."

"[They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome," he continued.


In one way, he's right. Women in the music industry have always had to work harder than their male counterparts to get the same level of respect or success.

Portnow's comments exposed the insidious and institutionalised sexism that take place behind the scenes of the Grammys. While it might not be all that surprising to those who follow the awards closely, it's still infuriating nonetheless. Here's how artists are responding to his comments:



Charli XCX:

Tegan & Sara:

Sheryl Crow:

Justin Tranter:

Iggy Azalea:


The bias towards male artists, coupled with Portnow's comments, have shown just how out of touch and outdated the Grammys have become.

As demonstrated by their shrinking viewing figures, these historic awards are fast becoming irrelevant. Now is the time for radical change in how the Grammys chooses its nominees and winners, otherwise it risks extinction all together. And, in it's current state, who could honestly say they would miss it?