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.
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.