In an interview with Pitchfork, Recording Academy President Neil Portnow addressed the alleged race problem with the Grammy Awards. The award ceremony got a lot of backlash following Beyoncé’s Album of the Year award snub.
“No, I don’t think there’s a race problem at all. Remember, this is a peer-voted award. So when we say the Grammys, it’s not a corporate entity – it’s the 14,000 members of the Academy. They have to qualify in order to be members, which means they have to have recorded and released music, and so they are sort of the experts and the highest level of professionals in the industry,” Neil told Pitchfork.
Both Portnow and the whole Recording Academy received a lot of criticism after Adele won in the Song and Album of the Year categories. Even the famous singer was shocked by her win, since she felt like Beyoncé deserved to win the award.
“It’s always hard to create objectivity out of something that’s inherently subjective, which is what art and music is about. We do the best we can. We have 84 categories where we recognize all kinds of music, from across all spectrums. 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 the way that I approach it – is you almost put a blindfold on and you listen,” Neil said in the interview.