Recording Academy President Neil Portnow has held his job since 2002, presiding over many years of Grammy bullshit. Days after telling women to “step up” if they wanted to be a part of the music industry, nearly 12,000 supporters (at time of this writing) are backing a petition for him to step down from his position.
Although you can’t see which artists have signed the petition, “A Thousand Miles” singer Vanessa Carlton has been vocal in her support of it, urging her Twitter followers and fellow artists to back it. Plenty of other pop artists, including Charli XCX, Pink, Katy Perry, and (subtly) Lorde addressed Portnow’s comments in one form or another following the 2018 Grammys Sunday night.
It’s probably not going to accomplish anything—the Recording Academy is an incredibly insular group, if that hasn’t been made clear after every year when the “wrong” albums or artists triumph in just about every major category. Even if Portnow stepped down from his post, it might install a sturdier mouthpiece for the Academy and the same electorate that led to a Bruno Mars sweep and two Beyoncé Album of the Year snubs would still be around, ballots in hand.
While it could end up being a futile gesture, the blowback, at the very least, might lead to more inclusive Grammy nominations (and even wins) in 2019. Who knows!