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Samaritan Feature: US Recording Academy Chastened Over Insensitive Remarks

Academy CEO Neil Portnow set off a firestorm with recent comments about women in the industry (or lack thereof) that are deemed out-of-touch. He's now recanted, as Karen Bliss explains.

Samaritan Feature: US Recording Academy Chastened Over Insensitive Remarks

By Karen Bliss

Following upsetting and out-of-touch comments Recording Academy president/CEO Neil Portnow made after the Grammy Awards Sunday night (Jan. 28), calling for women to “step up” if they want to be executives in the music industry, he has released an official statement “to the music community.” It's his second statement about the remarks.


In addition to acknowledging “the hurt that my poor choice of words” caused and insisting they are “not reflective of my beliefs,” he announced that the Recording Academy — the member-led U.S. organization of music industry professionals —behind the Grammys will put together an independent task force to review and identify “where we can do more to overcome the explicit barriers and unconscious biases that impede female advancement in the music community.”

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Portnow made his original remarks to Variety Sunday evening, after the Grammy’s, when asked about the poor representation of females on the televised show.

“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. I don’t have personal experience of those kinds of brick walls that you face but I think it’s upon us — us as an industry — to make the welcome mat very obvious, breeding opportunities for all people who want to be creative and paying it forward and creating that next generation of artists.”

His words caused a fury – continue reading on the Samaritan magazine website

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 Drake and Rick Ross attend Sean Diddy Combs Ciroc The New Years Eve Party at his home on Dec. 31, 2013 in Miami Beach, Fla.
Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Drake and Rick Ross attend Sean Diddy Combs Ciroc The New Years Eve Party at his home on Dec. 31, 2013 in Miami Beach, Fla.

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