This year's Grammy Awards ended up being a male-dominated event with only 17 women - or women-lead acts - picking up awards out of the 86 being handed out on the night.
When asked about the glaring gender disparity backstage, Recording Academy Chief Neil Portnow asserted that if female artists want to win golden gramophones in the future, they must "step up", presumably to the same level as their male counterparts.
"Women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level ... [They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome," he told press (via The Hollywood Reporter).
This prompted a backlash from female artists, including Pink, who pointed out that women have been "stepping up since the beginning of time", but in male-dominated industries, some women are still striving for equality.
Vanessa Carlton circulated a petition this week, calling for his resignation, and now a dozen female record executives have signed the letter.
"The statement you made this week about women in music needing to ‘step up’ was spectacularly wrong and insulting and, at its core, oblivious to the vast body of work created by and with women," the letter's introduction reads.
"Your attempt to backpedal only emphasises your refusal to recognise us and our achievements.
"Your most recent remarks do not constitute recognition of women’s achievements, but rather a call for men to take action to ‘welcome’ women. We do not await your welcome into the fraternity. We do not have to sing louder, jump higher or be nicer to prove ourselves."
The petition has now acquired more 13,000 signatures.
Meanwhile, Portnow also faced criticism over the decision not to offer Lorde as solo spot to perform at the awards, after it was revealed that she was the only Album of the Year nominee not asked.
The singer, who was nominated for her album Melodrama, was also the only woman nominated in the category up against Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, Childish Gambino and Bruno Mars - who took home the prize.
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