Not One Woman from the Music Industry Was Present at Trump’s MMA Signing Ceremony

Donald Trump jokes with selectively-picked guests at the Music Modernization Act signing ceremony on Thursday.
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Donald Trump jokes with selectively-picked guests at the Music Modernization Act signing ceremony on Thursday.
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Donald Trump jokes with selectively-picked guests at the Music Modernization Act signing ceremony on Thursday.

Trump’s signature of the Music Modernization Act on Thursday was widely regarded as monumental for the music industry.  But why weren’t any women present?

Certainly the industry has a lot of powerful women executives, many of whom worked directly on shaping this legislation.  And on the performance side, women musicians are frequently dominating the charts — on-stage or behind-the-scenes.

Yet none of those women appeared at Trump’s White House on Thursday for the Music Modernization Act signing ceremony.

On the executive side, there were some glaring absences.  ASCAP chief executive Elizabeth Matthews seemed like one obvious pick for the ceremony, as well as BMI senior VP Ann Sweeney.  Apparently, Sweeney was actually uninvited, according to a report by Billboard.

Also notably absent was industry attorney Dina LaPolt, who played a central role in shaping the Music Modernization Act.  LaPolt was also fighting to keep the bill alive through its many challenges, right until the final Congressional vote.

Whether executives like Matthews and LaPolt were invited but declined is unknown.

On the artist side, a long list of male artists were present — with zero female artists.

Kid Rock was the most high-profile artist of the set, and Trump was flanked by John Rich and members of the all-male Christian rock band Mercy Me during the signing.  Sam Moore of Sam & Dave also offered a speech, while former Doobie Brothers guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter was on camera for most of the event.

Separately, Trump also invited Mike Love of the Beach Boys, whom he noted was ‘a friend of mine’ during the ceremony.

It should also be noted that Kanye West was expected to attend the ceremony, at least according to our sources.  But instead, West enjoyed a broader lunch meeting and Oval Office sit down with Trump later in the day.  The rapper, wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat, used the meeting to pontificate on various topics for ten minutes straight.

Amazingly, not one woman performer, songwriter, or executive was present.  One slight exception was West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito, who ended up being the only woman at the ceremony (at least on camera).

Perhaps the stinging blow came when Donald Trump personally recognized controversial Recording Academy president Neil Portnow during the ceremony.

Trump singled out Portnow as being a ‘pretty big deal in the music industry,’ while thanking him for his attendance.

“I’m really pleased that some real leaders of industry are here with us for the enactment of this critical legislation,” Trump stated.  “I see Neil Portnow, who in the world of music is big stuff.  He’s the president and CEO of the Recording Academy, also known as the Grammys.”

Portnow is indeed one of the top executives in the industry, though his tenure at the Recording Academy has been highly controversial this year.  Earlier, Portnow was blasted for telling women to ‘step up’ if they wanted better representation at the Grammys.  Demands for Portnow’s resignation soon reached a fever pitch, and Portnow ultimately announced his retirement from the organization.


10 Responses

  1. Goethe

    Article title; a good example of Marxist group think. Always trying to stir up contention, that is the Marxist way.

    Ironic calling sexist while being sexist? Not valid if a woman or minority not present? We are all equal and yet we’re not all equal?

    You can always smell a Marxist: can’t say a thing without it being a logical fallacy or hypocritical.

  2. aviv

    music will continue to get worse. thanks to all the wrong people stealing to get where they do not belong.

  3. Anonymous

    Good Lord, quit looking for problems everywhere. It’s this same whiney attitude that will throw a fit if you’re seen with Trump. It’s impossible to win with people like this.

  4. Paul Resnikoff

    Guess it depends on how you look at this. Really, I hadn’t heard much from Neil Portnow at all while this legislation was being crafted, though he factored very heavily in the ceremony. That’s not a dig on Portnow, who may have been unfairly beat up this year — but what about the women who were actually working round the clock on this?

  5. Anonymous journalist

    Agree with all negative comments on this piece. Laughable non news.

  6. Paul Lanning

    Trump had nothing to do with the bill. H signed it, that’s all.

    “Portnow is indeed one of the top executives in the industry”….What does he do? Sing? Play? Write? Arrange? Engineer?
    He has time to kiss Trump’s ass. The two of them could’ve at least performed a duet.

    I don’t know LaPolt, but I suspect she would have declined an invitation.

  7. dhenn

    The ones I know and work with, who were key in getting this done, were invited and declined.

    • Blech

      Haven’t checked DMN for a while due to the social justice slant. Won’t be back any time soon or at all. Always hated my music mixed with politics. Shut up and play yer guitar.