Saturday, June 22, 2024

Grammy Awards: Dropped Gender Distinctions in 2012 to be “PC” and Caused Accidental Reverse Discrimination


Beginning with the 2012 ballots, the Grammy Awards canceled gender distinctions. Thus Best Female Pop, Country, and R&B disappeared. Those were three big awards that went to women. But the Grammys were trying to get with the program of eliminating gender bias. Some people wondered if that would cause a kind of reverse discrimination.

Guess what? It did.

But that’s not Neil Portnow’s fault. Portnow, who’s fought hard for everyone, made a slip of the tongue last week with his “women should step up” phrasing. So let’s kill him now. No, seriously. He made a mistakeĀ  and he apologized for it. But Portnow didn’t take away the gender-specific awards. It was done by committees.

The result is that just the men are winning. In voting, the Grammys now almost read as Best Pop Male Performance, etc. And so now all these great women artists– Lady Gaga, Kesha, Alessia Cara, India.Arie, SZA, Maren Morris– don’t have their own categories any more. What to do? Bring ’em back. Being back gender. (Whoops! Is that good or bad? You can’t be right anymore.)

I’m horrified by this sudden outpouring of hatred for Neil Portnow. He has no control over who makes the records, who gets the nominations, etc. And there are PLENTY of hit records by women. Top 40 is FILLED with women’s voices. The top Z100 playlist tonight includes Dua Lipa, Kesha, Alessia Cara, Demi Lovato, Camila Cabello, and Taylor Swift. Gaga will be coming soon. Then Pink.

Portnow slipped, I’m sorry, he’s human. But his work for MusiCares– which is for all genders– has been impeccable. Ganging up on him with a petition– the letter he was sent by signed by five women from the same law firm, not from label heads. And the 13,000 names– are anonymous.

Folks, direct your anger somewhere else, please/

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News