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P!nk, Katy Perry, And More Are Not Here For The Grammys' 'Step Up' Remark

And Charli XCX, Halsey, and more agree

After the 2018 Grammys on Sunday night, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow offered a particularly myopic take on why female artists won so few of the night's top awards, a fact that quickly prompted the hashtag #GrammysSoMale on social media.

"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."

Since then, Portnow's "step up" line has been dissected at large, often paired with the news that Lorde was not offered the same solo performance spot during the show as her male Album of the Year co-nominees.

It's also prompted more artists to speak out against the perceived sexism inherent in Portnow's comments. P!nk, who performed at the show, offered a handwritten retort on Twitter.

"When we celebrate and honor the talent and accomplishments of women, and how much women STEP UP every year," she wrote, "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."

Her comments were joined by similar remarks from Charli XCX (who kept it brief: "ugh bout 2 step up on 2 ur face"), Katy Perry, Halsey, Iggy Azalea, and others.

Portnow offered a clarification of his comments on Monday night (January 29), saying that out of context, the two words "step up" do not "convey my beliefs and the point I was trying to make."

"Our industry must recognize that women who dream of careers in music face barriers that men have never faced," he continued. "We must actively work to eliminate these barriers and encourage women to live their dreams and express their passion and creativity through music."

Read his full statement here.


VMAs 2018