This year’s Grammy Awards may have been more racially diverse than it has been previously, but it was sorely lacking on the gender representation front: Female artists received just two of the 15 nominations in the Album, Song, and Record of the Year categories.
Addressing this controversial nominations list, Neil Portnow, president of Grammy organising body the Recording Academy, said women had to “step up” if they wanted to gain more nominations. Clearly, Portnow was shirking responsibility for the biases of Grammy voters, and leading female industry insiders are not taking it lightly.
Julie Greenwald (Atlantic Records COO/Chairman), Jody Gerson (CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group), Julie Swidler (EVP/General Counsel, Sony Music), Sylvia Rhone (President, Epic Records), Michele Anthony (EVP, Universal Music Group) and Desiree Perez (COO of Roc Nation), penned a letter to Portnow and the Recording Academy, which criticises the body and its historic underrepresentation of women.
The letter has been published in full by Variety, and it points out that Portnow’s lack of respect for female artists is reflective of the Grammys’ historic underrepresentation, as this awards data makes clear.
Time will tell if this letter serves as a wake up call for the Recording Academy. Nominations for the 2019 Grammy’s will open at the end of the year.