Grammy boss backs down on com­ments Neil Port­now said words taken out of con­text

Lethbridge Herald - - PEOPLE | ENTERTAINMENT -

Record­ing Academy Pres­i­dent Neil Port­now says his com­ments fol­low­ing the 60th an­nual Grammy Awards were taken out of con­text after he was crit­i­cized for say­ing women in the mu­sic in­dus­try need to “step up.”

Port­now, in a state­ment Tues­day, says he re­gret­tably used the words “step up” and that they were taken out of con­text and nei­ther con­vey his be­liefs nor the point he was try­ing to make. The show ended Sun­day with only two fe­male win­ners on­stage. Lorde, the only woman nom­i­nated for al­bum of the year, didn’t per­form.

“Our in­dus­try must rec­og­nize that women who dream of ca­reers in mu­sic face bar­ri­ers that men have never faced,” Port­now said. “We must ac­tively work to elim­i­nate these bar­ri­ers and en­cour­age women to live their dreams and ex­press their pas­sion and cre­ativ­ity through mu­sic. We must wel­come, men­tor and em­power them. Our com­mu­nity will be richer for it.”

His ini­tial com­ments after Sun­day’s awards show in New York an­gered some fe­male mu­si­cians who felt his state­ments put the re­spon­si­bil­ity on women.

Pink, who per­formed on the Grammys, was nom­i­nated with three other women in the best pop solo per­for­mance cat­e­gory but lost to Ed Sheeran. She wrote on Twit­ter on Mon­day that “Women in mu­sic don’t need to step up — Women have been stepping since the be­gin­ning of time.”

Katy Perry also chimed in on Twit­ter to say, “We ALL have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to call out the ab­surd lack of equal­ity ev­ery­where we see it. I’m proud of ALL the women mak­ing in­cred­i­ble art in the face of con­tin­ual re­sis­tance.”

Mark Salling, one of the stars of the Fox mu­si­cal com­edy “Glee,” has died of a pos­si­ble sui­cide at age 35 a few weeks be­fore he was sched­uled to be sen­tenced in Los Angeles on child pornog­ra­phy charges.

Salling’s lawyer, Michael J. Proc­tor, tells The As­so­ci­ated Press the ac­tor died Tues­day. He did not re­veal the cause of death.

A law en­force­ment of­fi­cial not au­tho­rized to speak pub­licly says Salling was found hang­ing at a home in the Tu­junga neigh­bour­hood of Los Angeles. The of­fi­cial says the ac­tor’s death is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated as a sui­cide.


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