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Grammy’s Chief Announces Task Force For Female Advancement, But Is It Enough?

The music industry is male-dominated, and women in the industry are fighting to change that.

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Following the backlash he received after last Sunday’s Grammy awards, the Grammy’s chief Neil Portnow has announced a task force for female advancement. There was a lot of controversy surrounding this year’s Grammys and it’s treatment of women, including album of the year nominee Lorde not being invited to perform, and Ed Sheeran beating out four women for best pop solo.

This announcement came shortly before female executives in the industry penned a letter calling for Portnow’s retirement. According to Rolling Stone, Portnow apologized for his statement the night of the awards where he said that women in music need to “step up.” He then went on to say, “The Recording Academy is establishing an independent task force to review every aspect of what we do as an organization and identify where we can do more to overcome the explicit barriers and unconscious biases that impede female advancement in the music community.

In a letter penned via Variety,  the female executives point out that his task force idea only call’s men to “welcome” women as opposed to truly recognize their achievements, and that they are demanding for his resignation, as the Grammy’s “do not fairly represent the world in which we live.”

The problem is larger than people realize. A recent study by USC has shown that between 2013 and 2018, 90.7% of Grammy Award nominees were male, and only 9.3% female. On top of that, the LA Times reports that in 2017 83.2% of artists in top pop songs were male while only 16.8% were female.

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Caitlin Wills is a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder with a BA in journalism and a minor in creative writing. She has written for various websites including The Odyssey Online and The Tempest, and currently writes album reviews for MXDWN. She is also an avid fiction writer and is working on writing a novel. Follow her on Twitter @caitlinjherrera.

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