Grammy CEO Denies Racism and Points to Chance the Rapper As Proof
(AllHipHop News) Grammy boss Neil Portnow has denied there is a problem with race at the annual awards ceremony after singer Adele beat out Beyonce for Album of the Year at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards.
As Beyonce's sister Solange noted in a tweet yesterday (February 14th), a black artist has not won Album of the Year in 25 years.
The announcement of Beyonce's loss drew a comparison to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, when The Academy was also accused of racism for in 2015, after all 20 actors nominated in the lead and supporting acting categories were white, for the second year in a row.
"You don't get Chance the Rapper as the Best New Artist of the Year if you don't have a membership that isn't diverse and isn't open-minded and isn't really listening to the music, and not really considering other elements beyond how great the music is," Neil Portnow Grammy CEO Neil Portnow told Pitchfork.com.
Beyonce's defeat sparked immediate backlash around the world and provoked debates as to who was supposed to win.
While many defended Beyonce, there were a few, like Ice-T and musician Santana, who sided with Adele.
Nevertheless, Portnow said there was no dilemma with race at the Grammys.
"We don't, as musicians, in my humble opinion, listen to music based on gender or race or ethnicity. When you go to vote on a piece of music - at least that's the way I approach it - is you almost put a blindfold on and you listen," Portnow said.
Portnow said that he asked the voting members at The Grammy’s to ignore sales and marketing, in addition to the popularity and chart rankings.
Portnow also said, "It's a democratic vote by majority."
"So somebody could either receive or not receive a Grammy based on one vote. It could be that tight," Portnow said of the nomination process.
Take a look at the full explanation here.