02/15/2017 12:59 EST

Grammys President Says Award Show Doesn't Have A 'Race Problem At All'

On Sunday, Adele took home Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year at the 2017 Grammys, and went viral after she said Beyoncé deserved the awards more than she did in.

But despite the criticism over Beyoncé's snub, the Grammys president says the show doesn't have a "race problem at all."

Responding to the backlash that Beyoncé fell victim to the Grammy Awards’ racism, Recording Academy President Neil Portnow told Pitchford the organization's board is "always working on increasing diversity in membership, whether it's ethnicity, gender, genre, or age."

beyonce grammys 2017

"In order to maintain our relevance, we have to be refreshing all the time and we have to be doing that across the board," he continued.

"Remember, this is a peer-voted award, it's not a corporate entity — it's the 14,000 members of the Academy... 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."


When accepting her awards on Sunday evening, Adele apologized to Beyoncé for winning and thanked her for "moving her soul every single day" for 17 years, calling her "Lemonade" album "monumental." She even stressed how the album has been a source of empowerment for her black friends (to some criticism).

"I felt like it was her time to win," Adele said in a press conference after the show. "My view is kind of what the f**k does she have to do to win Album of the Year?"

Before the show aired, Frank Ocean penned a Tumblr letter to the Academy accusing them of racial favouritism and "cultural bias," in particular Taylor Swift’s Album of the Year win for "1989" over Kendrick Lamar in 2016. After the show, the note was shared by Beyoncé’s sister, Solange Knowles, on Twitter (it has since been deleted).

In her acceptance speech for Best Urban Contemporary Album, Beyoncé made a political statement on race, saying we can't let history repeat itself.

"We all experience pain and loss and often we become inaudible. My intention for the film and album was to create a body of work that would give a voice to our pain, our struggles, our darkness, and our history, to confront issues that make us uncomfortable. It's important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror, first through their own families, as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House, and the Grammys, and see themselves."

A note to the Grammys: do better when it comes to racial equality.

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