Grammy President Neil Portnow caused outrage when he told Variety that females should "step up" if they want to be "part of the [music] industry." And as you can probably imagine, the offensive suggestion prompted plenty of reactions from the likes of P!NK, Katy Perry, Halsey and more, especially after the 60th annual ceremony was intended to highlight gender equality.
First up, we have P!NK, who hit back at Portnow's tone-deaf remark in a handwritten letter. "Women in music don’t need to 'step up' — women have been stepping since the beginning of time," the pop star wrote in the note. "Stepping up, and also steppin aside. Women OWNED music this year. They’ve been KILLING IT. And every year before this. When we celebrate and honor the talent and [accomplishments] of women, and how much women STEP UP every year, against all odds, we show the next generation of women and girls and boys and men what it means to be equal, and what it looks like to be fair."
Katy Perry decided to back P!NK's sentiments, calling her a "power woman leading by example" and suggesting that they revive VH1 Divas Live. Meanwhile, Halsey chimed in on the scandal calling Neil's comments "absurd," while Charli XCX was a little more aggressive with her approach. "Woman are making AMAZING music right now," she tweeted. "WTF is this dude talking about?"
This all started when Portnow decided to speak on the #GrammysSoMale Twitter trend after The Recording Academy handed out all but one award to men during the televised Madison Square Garden event. "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."
On Tuesday morning (January 30), Portnow attempted damage control over the remark. "Sunday night, I was asked a question about the lack of female artist representation in certain categories of this year’s Grammy Awards," he said in a statement. "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."
Scroll on below to see some of the other clapbacks to Neil's controversial statement!
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