The Recording Academy Is Declaring War on Its Sexism Problem

A still from the Recording Academy's just-released 'We Are Music' campaign.
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A still from the Recording Academy's just-released 'We Are Music' campaign.
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A still from the Recording Academy’s just-released ‘We Are Music’ campaign.

It seems as though the Grammys are about to get a bit more diverse after ousted president Neil Portnow leaves in 2019.

The embattled president made some controversial remarks about the lack of representation of women during the Grammy Awards after he suggested that women should “step up” if they want recognition for their talent.

The rest, as they say

Portnow has headed The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences since 2002, but he recently announced that he would be stepping down after his contract term is complete in 2019. While Portnow’s resignation may seem tied to his diversity comments, a Variety report suggested that Portnow used funds from a Recording Academy charity to fund this year’s Grammy’s ceremony.

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With Portnow having one foot out of the door, it looks like the Recording Academy is taking steps to amend its poor reputation in regards to diversity.  A new We Are Music campaign has debuted on YouTube featuring a diverse group of singers and songwriters.

The accompanying message with the video from the Recording Academy states that the organization wants to honor singers, songwriters, engineers, and music professionals, regardless of their gender or background.

This new campaign is a direct response to the #GrammySoMale hashtag that trended on Twitter after Portnow’s remarks to the media.

Female artists like Taylor Swift spoke up about the controversy, stating that she “steps up every day” and that there are “countless women who provide the foundation this business is built upon.” Swift even threw a little shade at the Academy, offering the help of a talented female accountant who could “step up” and help get them out of debt, referencing Portnow’s alleged misuse of charity funds for the Grammys ceremony.

You can check out the We Are Music campaign video right here, which features artists like Chad Hugo, Rickey Minor, H.E.R., and Swizz Beatz.