This year’s 60th Annual Grammy Awards, like all before it, have proved to be highly controversial. After Alessia Cara, the only woman who took home an award, won Best New Artist, many female artists spoke out about the unfair treatment of women in the recording industry, and the lack of acknowledgement from the Recording Academy at this year’s Grammy celebration. SZA, the most nominated woman of the night, left without any awards, Kesha, an artist who performed her heartbreaking song about her sexual assault court battle with Dr. Luke, left without any awards, and Lorde, the only artist up for album of the year that wasn’t invited to perform solo, left without any awards.
Neil Portnow, in a since apologized statement, responded to the controversy by asking women to “step up” to their male contemporaries if they want to win. CNN reports that over twenty female artists have come together to pen an open letter, published by Variety, to Portnow, asking for his resignation from the Recording Academy. “We step up every single day and have been doing so for a long time,” the letter reads, “the fact that you don’t realize this means it’s time for you to step down. Today we are stepping up and stepping in to demand your resignation.”
Portnow announced a task force for “female advancement,” minutes before the open letter released. The letter, states that “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 Recording Academy has since released a statement from Portnow about the task force, which can be read below: