"Rot In Piss": Phoebe Bridgers Slammed Ex-Grammys Head Neil Portnow After The Show's Telecast

"Rot In Piss": Phoebe Bridgers Slammed Ex-Grammys Head Neil Portnow After The Show's Telecast

This post contains discussion of sexual misconduct and rape.

One thing about Phoebe Bridgers, she's gonna tell it like it is.

Closeup of Phoebe Bridgers holding her Grammys
Kayla Oaddams / WireImage

OK, so this guy is Neil Portnow. He was the President of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences — also known as NARAS, or the Recording Academy — from 2002 until 2019.

Closeup of Neil Portnow
Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images for The Recording Academy

The year before he stepped down, Neil said that women needed to "step up" after criticism that the telecast and the awards body didn't recognize female-identifying musicians enough.

Closeup of Neil Portnow
Leon Bennett / Getty Images

Neil later apologized, but the damage was done. When Dua Lipa won Best New Artist in 2019, she even referenced his initial statement with more than a hint of sarcasm. "I guess this year we really stepped up," she said at the time.

Since stepping down, Neil has also been sued by a woman who claims that he drugged and raped her in 2018. The allegation first surfaced in 2020 via a lawsuit filed by Neil's successor Deborah Dugan, who was allegedly forced out of the position after lodging a complaint against the Academy that included the allegation against Neil.

Closeup of Neil Portnow
Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images

So, back to Phoebe, who took home four Grammys — three with her band Boygenius — on Sunday night.

Boygenius with their Grammys
Kayla Oaddams / WireImage

After the show, Phoebe addressed press backstage. “I have something to say about women,” she said. “The ex-president of the Recording Academy, Neil Portnow, said that if women want to be nominated and win Grammys, that they should ‘step up.’"

Closeup of Phoebe Bridgers
Gareth Cattermole / Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

"He’s also being accused of sexual violence. And to him I’d like to say: I know you’re not dead yet, but when you are…rot in piss.”

Phoebe Bridgers onstage
Rune Hellestad - Corbis / Corbis via Getty Images

You can read more about the allegations against Neil Portnow, which he has thus far denied publicly, here.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), which routes the caller to their nearest sexual assault service provider. You can also search for your local center here.