In case anyone still cares about the Grammys after this year’s half-woke ceremony and Recording Academy President Neil Portnow’s misguided comments about women in music, at least efforts are now being made to do better.
In February, the Grammys announced the creation of an independent task force to address gender bias in the music industry. Today, Billboard reported that the force will be led by Tina Tchen, former chief of staff to Michelle Obama and administrator of the Time’s Up legal defense fund.
“The fact that she lacks business ties to the music industry ensures her objectivity as chair,” Neil Portnow said in a statement. “In this moment, the Recording Academy can do more than reflect what currently exists; we can help lead the industry into becoming the inclusive music community we want it to be — a responsibility that the board and I take seriously. Tina Tchen is an accomplished advocate for women and impact-oriented leader versed in convening disparate stakeholders for a common purpose.”
“We want to make sure that we have a balanced and diverse group that represents a lot of different viewpoints so that we can have as broad a range of input as possible,” Tchen told Billboard. “This is an important statement by the Recording Academy on the seriousness of its commitment. The music industry is such a key part of our culture that it needs to reflect our entire society.”
Time will tell if the Grammys, which have suffered from poor ratings in recent years, will benefit from Tchen’s influence.