Neil Portnow’s “step up” controversy is showing no signs of cooling off amid a new letter critical of the Recording Academy Executive Director, although this latest statement stops short of calling for his resignation.
After a letter released Thursday from 21 female booking agents, managers and executives told the longtime Grammy boss “Time’s Up, Neil,” a new letter has surfaced from a group that has yet to address the controversy— female executives from major labels and publishing companies.
In a joint letter signed by Michele Anthony with Universal Music Group, Jody Gerson from Universal’s publishing arm, Julie Greenwald of Atlantic Records, Sylvia Rhone with Epic Records, Julie Swidler of Sony Music and Desiree Perez from Roc Nation, the group calls out the Recording Academy for being “woefully out of touch with today’s music, the music business, and even more significantly, society,” and warn that the organization overseeing the awards show needs to become more inclusive and transparent.
While strongly critical, the letter doesn’t call for Portnow to step down, but does call for change at the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
“Neil Portnow’s comments are not a reflection of being ‘inarticulate’ in a single interview,” the letter reads. “They are, unfortunately, emblematic of a much larger issue with the Naras organization as a whole on the broader set of inclusion issues across all demographics.”