Misogyny in Music Report Reveals Endemic Sexual Harassment and Abuse
A new report from the UK Parliament’s Women And Equalities Committee has uncovered the prevalence of sexual harassment and abuse within the music industry. The report, titled ‘Misogyny In Music’, sheds light on the fact that the industry continues to be a “boys’ club” where women face significant barriers to career advancement and are frequently victimized.
Disturbingly, incidents of harassment and abuse often go unreported due to the fear that speaking out will result in the end of women’s careers, as well as the suppression of such incidents through the use of non-disclosure agreements. The report emphasizes that the non-reporting of instances of sexual harassment and abuse is alarmingly high, with victims who do report such behavior struggling to be believed. Even when these victims are believed, it is often their careers, not the perpetrators, that suffer as a consequence.
Vick Bain, the Founder of The F-List for Music, commended the report for giving a voice to the side of the music industry that many wish to suppress and silence through the misuse of NDAs or threats of reputational damage. Representatives from various industry organizations, including Rebecca Ferguson, Charisse Beaumont, Silvia Montello, Jo Twist, YolanDa Brown, Annabella Coldrick, Naomi Pohl, Deborah Annett, and Tom Kiehl, have also responded to the report.
The report offers several recommendations aimed at improving the situation, both within the government and the music industry. Caroline Nokes MP, Chair of the Women And Equalities Committee, stressed the need to address the “endemic” misogyny that has persisted in the industry for far too long. The report focuses on the improvement of protections and reporting mechanisms, as well as necessary structural and legislative reforms.
In addition to the recommendations, the report also highlights the urgent need for a shift in the behavior of men, who are predominantly at the helm of the music industry. The Women And Equalities Committee conducted an inquiry into the issue of misogyny in music as part of a larger investigation into violence against women and girls. Testimonies from industry representatives, including artists and broadcasters, shed light on the prevalence of threats and the use of NDAs to silence victims.
The report calls for legislative measures to amend the Equalities Act to ensure that freelance workers receive the same protections from discrimination as employees. It also proposes imposing a duty on employers to protect workers from sexual harassment by third parties and recommends the prohibition of NDAs in cases involving sexual abuse, harassment, bullying, or discrimination.
The music industry is urged to take robust action to address harassment, abuse, and inequality. This includes implementing new licensing requirements for studios, music venues, and artist managers, as well as improving diversity and career pathways for women, particularly in male-dominated areas such as A&R, sound engineering, and production.
BPI CEO Jo Twist, AIM’s chief exec Silvia Montello, and other industry leaders have responded to the report, vowing to support the recommendations and take concrete steps to tackle misogyny in the music industry. The report’s findings underscore the need for comprehensive and fundamental reform in the industry, with a focus on creating a safe, inclusive, and diverse environment for all music industry professionals.