Asked about those issues backstage at Madison Square Garden, Portnow said, "It has to begin with women who have the creativity in their hearts and their souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, who want to be producers, who want to be part of the industry on an executive level, to step up". Sunday's show didn't give any praise to the women in the music industry which saw SZA, the most-nominated female artist walking home with no awards.
In reaction, some have argued that the Recording Academy should take steps to recognize female artists with trophies, not just nominations.
When Recording Academy president Neil Portnow excused the Grammys' conspicuous lack of female representation with an admonition for women to "step up" to win more awards, he set off a firestorm of backlash from women in the industry who felt that his comments were a slap in the face to women who already regularly do so only to be met with derision from many of their male peers and audiences. According to reports on DailyMail.co.uk, the singer penned a handwritten note that she then posted to her Twitter feed Monday, responding, "Women in music don't need to "step up" - women have been stepping since the beginning of time".
Grammys President: 'Women need to step up more'. Crow tweeted that it was a move that has possibly contributed to women being rarely seen at the podium this year.
Rapper called him out - as did other women who attended the awards show and wore and carried white roses for the Time's Up movement.
"I regret that I wasn't as articulate as I should have been in conveying this thought", Portnow shared. We must actively work to eliminate these barriers and encourage women to live their dreams and express their passion and creativity through music. Our community will be richer for it. "I don't think any of us are saying male artists are undeserving of recognition and celebration too, but we women know what goes on behind the curtain and so that's why that comment from Neil has the girls fuming". Alessia Cara won best new artist and Rihanna also got to take the stage when she and Kendrick Lamar won best rap/sung performance for Loyalty. "I remain committed to doing everything I can to make our music community a better, safer, and more representative place for everyone", added Portnow.