Recording Academy Starts “We Are Music” Campaign, Responds To Gender Inequality Criticism

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The Recording Academy has just launched its “We Are Music” campaign in response to the major backlash it received earlier this year, with a slew of disgruntled female artists claiming the institution projected gender bias and discrimination, Complex reports.

The controversy began when Neil Portnow, the Recording Academy’s former president, said women need to “step up” as he responded to the huge discrepancy between men and women in number of Grammy nominations and wins. Out of 84 Grammy winners, only 11 of those were women. (Ed’s note: Not to mention how disappointing it was for SZA not to get any wins off her five nominations.)

“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,” Portnow said. “[They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome.”

Nonetheless, the new campaign video showcases images of women working on music with male counterparts: H.E.R. jots lyrics as Chad Hugo experiments on keys, then goes into the studio with Swizz Beatz and studio engineer Ann Mincieli. Through glimpses of black and white scenes, there is a voiceover in the background which promises equality: “The commitment and passion of a community of music creators,” the narration states. “If you believe all musicians should be paid fairly, yes.”

Since the controversy initially happened, Portnow announced he is leaving the academy when his contract expires next year. Let’s hope the ladies get more respect from now on.