Last year, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow responded to a notably female-free list of Grammy winners by suggesting that women would have more success in the music industry if they decided to “step up,” inspiring a hashtag (#GrammysSoMale) and a Vanessa Carlton–led push to oust him from his position. On Sunday, Portnow referenced the campaign by, well, sort of congratulating Neil Portnow on how much he has grown in the past year, while only sort of vaguely referencing why he had to grow so much to begin with.
“Thank you to all the artists who performed on the Grammys stage, who both by fate and intention represent a remarkable and diverse group, including some of the most thrilling new and legendary female voices of our times,” he said. “And to me? That only feels right.” Continued Portnow, “Because this past year, I’ve been reminded that if coming face-to-face with an issue opens your eyes wide enough, it makes you more committed than ever to help address those issues.” To which the women in the audience silently reacted.