Pink, Katy Perry, Charli XCX & More Respond to Neil Portnow’s “Step Up” Comment

Mike Wass | January 30, 2018 6:19 am
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Just when you thought the Grammys couldn’t be any more out of touch, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow responded to male artists sweeping all major categories by suggesting, among other things, that women need to “step up.” I’m not joking. “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… [They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome,” he told Variety.

The backlash was swift and brutal with Pink leading the way. “Women in music don’t need to ‘step up’ — women have been stepping since the beginning of time,” she wrote in a handwritten letter. “Stepping up, and also steppin aside. Women OWNED music this year. They’ve been KILLING IT. And every year before this. When we celebrate and honor the talent and [accomplishments] of women, and how much women STEP UP every year, against all odds, we show the next generation of women and girls and boys and men what it means to be equal, and what it looks like to be fair.”

“Another powerful woman, leading by example,” Katy Perry responded to Pink’s message. “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.” Charli XCX was less diplomatic. “Ugh bout 2 step up on 2 ur face.. women are making AMAZING music right now wtf is this dude talking about ?????” she tweeted. Iggy Azalea also chimed in, suggesting women boycott next year’s event. See all of their tweets below.