India Arie is taking exception to The Recording Academy President Neil Portnow’s remarks about women.
Portnow made post-Grammys remarks about women “stepping up,” a sentiment which has not been sitting well with many. Among those upset with his remarks is 21-time Grammy Award-nominee Arie.
“Neil Portnow is mistaken,” said the singer in an open letter obtained by ET Canada. “His statements are a mess, but I get why he can’t empathize with women and women of colour.”
She explained how, “HE is saying, the more women there are, the more chances women have to WIN.”
“BUT. WE NEED MORE WOMEN, more WOMEN OF COLOUR AND MORE INCLUSIVE MINDED PEOPLE in positions of power, in the rooms where decisions are made,” she insisted. “When this happens, doors will open for women to be represented in more DIVERSE WAYS.”
The inherent issue is how “the music industry is dominated by white men and the Grammys and NARAS are run and produced by ONLY white men.”
“The fact that Portnow says we’d ‘be welcomed’ indicates that he doesn’t think we’re part of the household to begin with,” concluded Arie.
Arie, 42, also dedicated her Grammys performance of “I Am Light” to “being worthy.”
“In this performance, ‘Worthy’ is behind me on this stage, because it is my favourite word, my mantra, my life’s philosophy,” said the four-time Grammy-winner.
“My favourite definition of this word is: deserving of regard and respect,” Arie stated. “And anytime someone comes to treat me as less, I know THEY are mistaken.”