Phoebe Bridgers Says Ex-Grammys President Can "Rot in Piss"

In 2018, then-Grammys head and accused abuser Neil Portnow told women to "step up" if they wanted to win more awards

Photo: David Lee

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Feb 5, 2024

At long last, we can refer to Phoebe Bridgers as a Grammy winner. The singer-songwriter took home four trophies at last night's awards — three for her work with Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker as boygenius, and one for her guest spot on SZA's "Ghost in the Machine."

Backstage at the ceremony, Bridgers, Dacus and Baker fielded press questions about their wins. Inevitably, they were asked about women's place in rock music, and Bridgers didn't mince words.

"I have something to say about women," she proclaimed. "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.’ 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.”

The controversy incited by Portnow's comments after the sausage fest that was the 2018 Grammys resulted in him stepping down from the Recording Academy. In late 2023, Portnow was accused of rape by an anonymous musician for an incident that also allegedly took place in 2018 and Mike Greene, another former Grammys CEO, was also hit with a sexual assault lawsuit. Last week, five women came forward claiming they had signed non-disclosure agreements and received payments to cover up sexual abuse at the Recording Academy.

Bridgers accused former collaborator Ryan Adams of emotional abuse and inappropriate conduct alongside his ex-wife, Mandy Moore, and more women in 2019.

Latest Coverage