HITS Daily Double


Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow issued a mea culpa over his “step up” comment Sunday at the Grammys.

Portnow and the Recording Academy released a statement to Variety whose reporter had asked about the lack of female artist representation in certain categories.

“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,” Portnow wrote.

“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.”

The comment that got Portnow in hot water—with artists such as P!nk, Kelly Clarkson and Sheryl Crow across social media—was, “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.”

The story is getting ongoing pickup in major media outlets, including L.A. Times, N.Y. Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, Page Six and USA Today.