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The Grammys announce a new task force to address its own biases against women in the music industry

(Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Recording Academy president Neil Portnow has taken another slow, deliberate step to extract his foot—and possibly portions of his lower leg—from his mouth this week, after he enthusiastically jammed it in there in the wake of last Sunday’s Grammy Awards, when he told female musicians, producers, and engineers that they need to “step up” if they want to be honored. Portnow’s comments—which came after a ceremony that saw male nominees disproportionately recognized by the Academy’s voters—have elicited strong negative reactions from a number of women in the music industry, some of whom organized a call for him to resign earlier this week.

Instead, Pitchfork reports, Portnow announced this week that he’s starting a new independent task force designed to combat anti-woman bias in the recording industry. According to a statement he released, this new group will “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. We will also place ourselves under a microscope and tackle whatever truths are revealed.” (Presumably, “Don’t say stupid shit about women” will be one of the force’s first bullet pointed-notes.)


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