Jesse Jackson Blasts Cutbacks To Grammy Awards, May Call For Protest

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Will one of America’s most influential civil rights leaders take to the streets over Grammy?

KNX 1070’s Vytas Safronika reports Reverend Jesse Jackson sent a letter on Friday to music executives asking them to reconsider changes to the industry’s most famous award — or face potential further action from his supporters.

Jackson requested a meeting with Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Grammys, over the recent decision last April to trim the number of Grammy categories from 109 to 78.

The move marks the biggest cut ever to the awards ceremony by the Recording Academy in the show’s 54-year history.

In the letter, Jackson and his Rainbow Push Coalition voiced concern over the scaled-back show specifically “”when our country needs to celebrate all its cultural traditions”.

But Portnow said he would welcome the opportunity to talk with Jackson and explain the thinking behind the changes.

“I suspect some information and some knowledge would be powerful and useful here, and that’s what we’re going to try to accomplish by meeting with him,” said Portnow.

Jackson told the Associated Press that while he only sought “cooperation not confrontation” with the letter, he may consider potentially calling for a protest of the Feb. 12 awards.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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