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There were more than a few people who were disappointed by last night’s Grammy Awards broadcast. Folks like SZA and our girl Cardi B., despite producing some amazing and arguably groundbreaking work this year walked away empty-handed. In fact, of the awards that were televised last night, only one of them went to a woman as a solo artist.

It’s not exactly a good look for the Recording Academy. You would think such an occurrence would spawn reflection and perhaps a promise to be better or be more inclusive in the future. But instead, when Variety asked Neil Portnow, Record Academy president about the lack of female representation, he sought to blame the caliber of female artists in the industry.

“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… [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.”

Step up?

Really want to be a part of the industry?

Well, this is insulting.

The question is, is the academy made up of men and women of color? Do their musical interests reflect diverse genres? How are we ensuring that those in the Recording Academy aren’t out of touch? Because from the outside looking in, there have been more than enough times where they’ve gotten it all the way wrong.

You don’t have to be a genius to see that there are plenty of female artists who’ve stepped up. The talent and the art is there. Portnow’s deflection seems to point to the real problem here.

See what people had to say about Neil’s comments inside.

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