The Recording Academy has announced the "We Are Music" campaign in response to the gender bias backlash following the Grammy Awards earlier this year. The launch comes months after the organization vowed to create an "independent task force" aimed at looking into the radical discrepancies between male and female nominees.
Only 11 of this year’s 84 Grammy winners were women with Alessia Cara being the lone female artist to accept an award during the live telecast for Best New Artist. When asked to address the lack of representation, former Recording Academy president Neil Portnow said that female artists need to "step up" in order to see the change that they seek. "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, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level," Portnow said. “[They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome." The comments didn't sit well with many.
In May, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Portnow would be stepping down when his contract expired next year. THR didn’t confirm if his departure was primarily due to his poorly received remarks, but it appeared that his comments surely became a black eye on himself and the organization as a whole.
In the video that accompanied the "We Are Music" campaign announcement, there’s mention of the organization’s desire to even the playing field between male and female artists. "The commitment and passion of a community of music creators," the voiceover states. "If you believe all musicians should be paid fairly, yes." It’s a step in the right direction, but we will see if the Recording Academy puts their words into action when next year’s nominees are revealed.