He totally missed the point! The 2018 Grammys was quite possibly one of the most woke ceremonies in the history of the awards show with dozens of musicians and celebrities using their voices to fight back against gender inequality. Attendees like Lady Gaga, Rita Ora, and more wore white roses on the red carpet to show their support for the Time's Up movement. Fans watching at home also joined in on the conversation by starting the #GrammysSoMale hashtag on social media, slamming the Grammys for the overwhelming about of male nominees and winners from this years' event — so it was totally the wrong moment for Grammys president Neil Portnow to put his foot in his mouth.
Neil addressed reporters backstage and he revealed his opinion about why there was such discrepancy in the number of male winners vs. female winners. “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, according to People.
“[They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome," he continued. "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."
Fans took to social media to express their outrage over Neil's comment and many of them used Ed Sheeran's win for the Best Pop Solo Performance award, beating out Kesha, Kelly Clarkson, Lady Gaga, and Pink as an example of how the winners were male-dominated. "Reasons I don't watch the Grammys anymore," one fan tweeted. "Pop song goes to mediocre tune by a guy when several powerful female singers w/ [sic] GOOD songs nominated. Ditto for pop album. Not to mention a--hat prez [sic] of Grammy saying women need to 'step up.'"