It was a night to celebrate a year of music, and also bring the #MeToo movement front and center throughout the evening’s event. With artists showing solidarity while wearing white roses or pins in support of the movement which is exposing sexual harassment and sexual assault in every industry. Even with the support and speeches over the course of the event, it still wasn’t enough.
During the 60th annual Grammy Awards held this past Sunday, all but one award went to men causing a twitter storm of bewilderment and anger. On top of that, Grammy President Neil Portnow commented to Variety following the awards night calling women to “step up.”
His whole quote reads: “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.”
2017 brought so many women artists to the front with powerful music from that Portnow’s comment came as a surprise. Sunday’s show didn’t give any praise to the women in the music industry which saw SZA, the most-nominated female artist walking home with no awards. It also saw only one female artist (Alessia Cara) receiving the only televised award for Breakout Artist. In the Best Pop Solo Performance, four of the nominated artists were women: Kelly Clarkson, Kesha, Lady Gaga and Pink, yet Ed Sheeran — who was not present — won. Two other women, Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman, won best country duo/group performance as part of the group, Little Big Town. Other than that, the night was taken by men.
Portnow has issued a follow-up statement according to the Hollywood Reporter that reads:
“Last 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. Our industry must recognize that women who dream of careers in music face barriers that men have never faced. We must actively work to eliminate these barriers and encourage women to live their dreams and express their passion and creativity through music. We must welcome, mentor and empower them. Our community will be richer for it. I regret that I wasn’t as articulate as I should have been in conveying this thought. I remain committed to doing everything I can to make our music community a better, safer, and more representative place for everyone.”
After initially releasing his “step up” comment, the social media platform of Twitter had a flood of tweets from artists and musicians alike coming together with their thoughts. Here are just a few that had something to say.
— P!nk (@Pink) January 29, 2018
Another powerful woman, leading by example. We ALL have a responsibility to call out the absurd lack of equality everywhere we see it. I’m proud of ALL the women making incredible art in the face of continual resistance.
P.s VH1 Divas Live. https://t.co/RDmB7zRfId
— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) January 30, 2018
I wish the #Grammys would return to female/male categories. Who will young girls be inspired by to pick up a guitar and rock when most every category is filled with men? I’m not sure it is about women needing to “step up”, (as said by the male in charge). #GrammysSoMale https://t.co/v1rvbT3pCC
— Sheryl Crow (@SherylCrow) January 29, 2018