(AllHipHop News) A growing chorus of powerful women in the music industry are calling for the removal of the President of the Grammys.
The manager of rap star Pharrell Williams is among the women leading the charge, over comments Neil Portnow made on the red carpet of the 60th annual Grammy Awards last weekend.
During an interview with Variety, Neil Portnow was discussing women in the music industry, when he chose a terrible choice of words to deliver a message to women in the music business.
“It has to begin with women who have the creativity in their hearts and their souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, who want to be producers, who want to be part of the industry on an executive level, to step up,” Neil Portnow told the magazine.The comments sparked an immediate backlash from a variety of well known female artists, including P!nk, Vanessa Carlton and India Arie.
Pharrell's manager Caron Veazey is among the powerful women who have drafted a letter urging Portnow to step down immediately.
"We need a leader to think outside of the metaphorical box and start demanding all voices be heard," reads the draft, which was obtained by NBC News.
Additionally, the women are calling for an overhaul of the Grammy process, after the most recent awards show.
Many fans were dismayed at the fact that only one woman, Alessia Cara, took home a Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
Additionally, many fans were shocked that Jay-Z went 0 for 8, after releasing one of the year's best, and most critically acclaimed albums, 4:44.
Neil Portnow issued an apology, saying he realized the "hurt" his "poor choice of words" caused.
"I also now realize that it’s about more than just my words. Because those words, while not reflective of my beliefs, echo the real experience of too many women. I'd like to help make that right," Neil Portnow said.
However, his apology has not been enough to quell the backlash and there is currently a petition circulating which has 11,000 signatures in support of the 70-year-old President's resignation.
Earlier this week, India.Arie pending open letter to Neil Portnow over his comments.
"Neil Portnow is mistaken. His statements are a mess, but I get why he can’t empathize with women and women of color. HE is saying, the more women there are, the more chances women have to WIN," India.Arie said. "BUT. WE NEED MORE WOMEN, more WOMEN OF COLOR AND MORE INCLUSIVE MINDED PEOPLE in positions of power, in the rooms where decisions are made.
Check out her full statement.