Vanessa Carlton’s petition to have Recording Academy President Neil Portnow step down from his position has reached its target.
Portnow caused controversy after Sunday night’s (28Jan18) Grammy Awards when he addressed the lack of female representation at the ceremony by suggesting female artists need to “step up” if they want to win more gongs.
“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 told Variety. “(They need) to step up because I think they would be welcome.”
Pink, Sheryl Crow, Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX and Halsey are among the stars who have slammed him for his remarks, but A Thousand Miles singer Vanessa has taken things one step further by starting a petition to have Portnow removed from his job.
“Attention everyone, especially musicians: Step up. And sign the petition to have Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy/Grammy’s, to step down. We are close to our goal of 10000 votes. Pass along,” she tweeted on Wednesday.
As WENN went to press, the petition had 11,228 signatures – with the goal changed from its original 10,000 to a new target of 12,000.
Explaining her decision to start the petition, Vanessa told Vulture: “We’ve all been in the industry a really long time and it was incredibly inappropriate for someone in that position to make a statement like that, including his backpedalling. His head is completely in the wrong place. That’s why I’m stepping up in a way now that I have not in the past.”
Her backpedalling remark was referencing Portnow’s second statement attempting to apologize for his first, in which he said that his words were “taken out of context”.
“Sunday night, I was asked a question about the lack of female artist representation in certain categories of this year’s Grammy Awards,” he said in a statement issued to People.com. “Regrettably, I used two words, ‘step up,’ that, when taken out of context, do not convey my beliefs and the point I was trying to make.”
– Cover Media0