Grammys 2014: Neil Portnow on the telecast's big wedding

All anybody wanted to talk to Recording Academy President Neil Portnow about backstage after the Grammys on Sunday night was if the academy was taking a political stance by marrying (mostly) gay couples during the telecast.

No, he said.

"We're not taking a stand on a political issue," he said. "We're taking a stand on a humanitarian issue.... This is about people who love each other and want to be together."

When it was pointed out that social justice seemed to be an overwhelming theme during this year's ceremony, Portnow said the Grammys simply reflect the artistic environment that they grow out of each year.

Grammys 2014: Full coverage | Top nominees and winners | Red carpet | Show highlights

 "Every year we get a fresh canvas to paint on, based on the nominations and music that came out," he said. "When you look at this year, a lot of artists are talking about social justice. That's not unusual for our creative community because we have a whole lot of heart."

Heart aside, the academy is now squarely in the center of a roaring debate in the Twittersphere and elsewhere on the Internet about whether or not it's trying to push a radical, liberal agenda.

"Personally, I think we live in a very divided country, whether we like that or not," Portnow said. "We represent creative artistry, we don't take a political position on any of these things. We provide a platform.... These  individuals believe in each other, love each other and want to be with each other."

At the end of the night, Portnow said the academy was just proud of what happened.

"It was as meaningful and powerful as we hoped," he said.


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