Watch Fiona Apple Slam Grammy President With ‘Kneel, Portnow’ T-Shirt

Watch Fiona Apple Slam Grammy President With ‘Kneel, Portnow’ T-Shirt

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Sunday, 04 February 2018
Music News
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Fiona Apple joined several women in music slamming Grammy president Neil Portnow for his comment that female artists need to “step up.” Last week, several female music industry executives called for Portnow’s resignation.

On Saturday, Apple wore a T-shirt with the words “Kneel, Portnow” emblazoned on it while she attended and performed with Garbage’s Shirley Manson at Girlschool L.A. music festival at Bootleg Theater, Variety reports. The pair appropriately sang an emotionally charged, “You Don’t Own Me,” a cover of Leslie Gore’s 1963 hit.

This year’s Grammys came under fire for its lack of female nominees and winners during the awards ceremony. Following the ceremony, Variety queried Portnow about the gender inequity. His response included a remark that women in music need to “step up.” Many artists have criticized his remarks, including Sheryl Crow, Charli XCX and Pink, who performed during the ceremony. “Women in music don’t need to ‘step up,'” Pink wrote on Twitter. “Women have been stepping up since the beginning of time. Stepping up, and also stepping aside … When we celebrate and honor the talent and accomplishments of women, and how much women step up every year, against all odds, we show the next generation of women and girls and boys and men what it means to be equal.”

On Thursday, Portnow acknowledged his “poor choice of words” in a letter, which also announced a Grammy task force “to overcome the explicit barriers and unconscious biases that impede female advancement in the music community.”

Just after his announcement, a group of female music senior executives – comprising agents, attorneys, promoters and band managers for acts such as Pharrell Williams and John Legend – composed a letter calling for Portnow’s resignation. “We step up every single day and have been doing so for a long time,” the group said in a joint letter via Variety. “The fact that you don’t realize this means it’s time for you to step down.”

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