The backlash from Grammy chief Neil Portnow’s comment after the show that female artists and executives need to “step up” has met with a furious reaction online that was picked up by Pink, a frequent Grammy performer who sang on the show Sunday night.
In a handwritten post on her social media accounts, she wrote:
“Women in music don’t need to ‘step up’ – women have been stepping since the beginning of time. 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 accomplisments 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.”
— P!nk (@Pink) January 29, 2018
Earlier in the day, Charli XCX tweeted: “ugh bout 2 step up on 2 ur face.. women are making AMAZING music right now wtf is this dude talking about ?????”
ugh bout 2 step up on 2 ur face.. women are making AMAZING music right now wtf is this dude talking about ????? https://t.co/EkijTA33QW
— Charli (@charli_xcx) January 29, 2018
While the show’s nominees were far more diverse racially and stylistically than any before, there was a striking absence of female nominees and winners, even though it featured two #MeToo-related segments via Janelle Monae’s powerful “Time’s Up” speech and Kesha’s moving performance of “Praying.”
But the #GrammysSoMale situation was exacerbated the day before the show when Variety reported that Lorde — the only female Best Album nominee — was also the only such nominee who hadn’t been offered a solo performance on the show (sources say she was offered a spot in the Tom Petty tribute and declined).
That narrative was thrown into stark relief by the perhaps hasty and definitely unfortunate post-show comments from Grammy chief Neil Portnow — who said female artists and executives “need to step up,” although the context suggests his intended meaning may not have been as harsh as it sounds. When asked whether a Lorde performance should have been included in the show, Ehrlich said “we’ve got a lot of spots to cover.”