P!nk and Halsey Fire Back at Grammy President's 'Absurd' Comment Telling Women to 'Step Up'
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Grammy Awards 2018: What You Didn't See on TV

Pop stars speak up for women who have been busy stepping up in the music industry for decades.

P!nk and Halsey made no secret of their annoyance with Recording Academy President Neil Portnow, who suggested that women need to "step up" if they wish to win more Grammys in the future.

"I strongly back the disagreement with the way that the Academy approaches things, but please remember the Grammys are voted by a 'jury of peers,' which means other artists and producers and writers select the nominees," Halsey tweeted Monday night. "Neil's comment was absurd. Female artists came HARD in 2017, but the nominees are selected by peers and their opinion of the music, which means it's a conversation about the standards of which the ENTIRE INDUSTRY expects women to uphold."

"Maybe it's nepotist and our opinion/votes don't actually matter. Maybe it's selected by the Grammy board members in the end. Maybe it's all a sham. I just really wish I got to see justice and fairness and ONE woman winning a televised award is bullsh-t," she added before clearing up that her rant was in no way a diss to Best New Artist winner Alessia Cara.

"And this is not about Alessia Cara. She is an incredibly talented, hardworking, young woman who followed a dream to its fruition. Don't direct your anger at her," Halsey concluded.

P!nk, who lost the Best Pop Solo Performance award Sunday night to Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You," echoed Halsey's sentiments.

"Women in music don't need to 'step up,'" P!nk said in a handwritten note posted to Instagram. "Women have been stepping up since the beginning of time. Stepping up, and also stepping 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."

Both of the singers' comments came after the Grammys only awarded one woman for a solo Grammy during the three-and-a-half hour broadcast amid the #TimesUp and #MeToo era. It didn't take long for backlash to start building on Twitter with #GrammysSoMale. Portnow addressed the situation backstage to the press, but his words only seemed to amplify the frustration.

"I think 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, who want to be producers, who want to be part of the industry on an executive level -- to step up, because I think they would be welcome," he said.

But according to a study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, a total of 90.7 percent of Grammy nominees between the years of 2013 and 2018 were male. The study also found that women nominees for Producer of the Year have been missing from the roster since 2013.

"I don't have personal experience with the kinds of brick walls that [women] face," Portnow said. "But I think it's really a combination of us in the industry making a welcome mat very obvious: creating mentorships, creating opportunities, not only for women, but for all people. And moving forward, creating that next generation of artists who feel like they can do anything and say anything."

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