Recording Academy President Denies Racial Problem at the Grammys

Neil Portnow claims that the Grammys didn't have 'a race problem' despite criticism from Solange Knowles, Kendrick Lamar and other artists.

AceShowbiz - This year's Grammys leaves controversies following Adele's victory over Beyonce Knowles in three major categories, including Album, Song and Record of the Year. The alleged snub prompted outrage from Solange Knowles, Kendrick Lamar and other artists who thought that the Grammys were lack of racial diversity.

Responding to the criticism, Recording Academy President Neil Portnow said that he didn't believe that the Grammys suffered from a race problem. "Remember, this is a peer-voted award...We don't, as musicians, in my humble opinion, listen to music based on gender or race or ethnicity," he said during an interview with Pitchfork. 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."

Portnow also pointed out Chance The Rapper's win for Best New Artist as a counter attack to the criticism. "You don't get Chance the Rapper as the Best New Artist of the year if you 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," he said.

Elsewhere, Portnow commented on Frank Ocean's decision not to submit "Blonde" for this year's Grammys. "I think that's a personal choice. Not everybody likes or wants to be part of every organization or awards process," he said. "Artists change their opinion. I don't begrudge his choice at all and we'll see what the future brings."

Following the Grammys, Solange joined Twitter backlash as she wrote a cryptic message, "wuddup Frank," along with a link to Ocean's Tumblr post in which he criticized Grammy's executives Ken Ehrlich and David Wild. Beyonce reportedly got pissed at her sister as she thought that her sister's shade and Ocean's claims were rude.

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