“It wasn’t her year,” Ehrlich said, according to Variety. “She was kind of off cycle. Hopefully we’ll see her next year.”
The pop star, 28, was up for awards for best country song (Little Big Town‘s “Better Man”) and song written for visual media (“I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” with Zayn Malik), though neither was declared winner on Sunday.
When asked specifically about the lack of female winners, Ehrlich demurred, saying, “It’s not for me to talk about. I produce the TV show.”
Grammys president Neil Portnow had a clearer opinion about the lack of female winners, though it wasn’t a popular one.
“It has to begin with 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,” he said.
“ to step up because I think they would be welcome. I don’t have personal experience of those kinds of brick walls that you face but I think it’s upon us — us as an industry — to make the welcome mat very obvious, breeding opportunities for all people who want to be creative and paying it forward and creating that next generation of artists,” Portnow added.
“Neil Portnow you are tone-deaf AF,” one Twitter user said in reaction to the comment. “Ladies, I say step DOWN and don’t show up next year. See how the show runs without us.”
Neil Portnow you are tone-deaf AF.
Ladies, I say step DOWN and don’t show up next year. See how the show runs without us. https://t.co/MCx7BjKsgO
— Kat Corbett (@KatCorbett) January 29, 2018
With all that said, I think .@RecordingAcad should be ashamed of Neil Portnow and his blatantly sexist comments. If we truly want time to be up on all this misogyny and assault, time has to be up on ignorance and the views that let it thrive.
— Jon (@LiberatedByGaga) January 29, 2018
Once again, #EdSheeran wins over much stronger female contenders, so instead of #kesha‘s song about overcoming sexual abuse, we reward another song by a man about a woman’s body. #GRAMMYs #metoo #timesup #grammyssomale
— Anya Silver (@AnyaSilverPoet) January 29, 2018
Maybe next year the Grammys should look to add a new category for Most Tone-Deaf Spoken-Word Statement from the Male Head of an Increasingly Irrelevant Awards Ceremony. https://t.co/Bg1DPWkyN8
— Aléx Young (@AlexYoung) January 29, 2018
To donate to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which will provide subsidized legal support to women and men in all industries who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace, visit its GoFundMe page. Learn more about Time’s Up, an organization of women in entertainment combating sexual harassment and inequality, on its website.
Though women, such as Kesha and SZA, took center stage with incredible performances, both female artists were shut out of their categories. Most prominently, Ed Sheeran’s best pop solo performance Grammy had many in Madison Square Garden and elsewhere outraged as he was the only man nominated in the category with Kelly Clarkson, Kesha, Lady Gaga and Pink.
Ehrlich also spoke to reporters backstage, explaining why Lorde did not perform.
“I don’t know if it was a mistake. These shows are always a matter of choices, and the box gets full. She had a great album, but there’s no way we can really deal with everybody,” he said. “She had a great album. I mean, album of the year is a big honor, but there is no way we can really deal with everybody. So, sometimes maybe people get left out that shouldn’t, but on the other hand, we did the best we could to put on a really balanced show.”
A University of Southern California study compared Grammys nominees and found 90.7 percent of nominees between 2013 and 2018 were male, leaving just 9.3 percent of spots to women.
The 60th annual Grammy Awards, hosted by James Corden, were broadcast live on CBS from Madison Square Garden in New York City.