The music industry has been undergoing its own #MeToo moment over the past couple years, beginning most notably in the EDM world with the ousting of Datsik from his management, booking agency, and more after multiple accusations of sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct were levied by multiple women. In the time since, there have been many more producers or industry representatives who’ve been accused of inappropriate conduct, including but not limited to sexual harassment and rape.
In the UK, the Musicians’ Union fights for artists’ rights, including fair and equitable pay, as well as “actively oppose all forms of harassment, prejudice and unfair discrimination whether on the grounds of sex, race, ethnic or national origin, religion, colour, class, caring responsibilities, marital status, sexuality, disability, age, or other status or personal characteristic.”
A new post on their website from this past Friday introduces the hashtag #ThisIsNotWorking, with a call to end abuse in the industry as well as Government organizations to step in and provide workplace protections. It also includes testimonials from some women about the harassment and/or abuse they’ve experienced.
Naomi Pohl, Deputy General Secretary of the MU, says:
“It’s unacceptable that so many artists, musicians, employees, and freelancers have suffered abuse at work and that many have left the industry as a result. With more women stepping forward to share their experiences, it’s vital the industry adopts a zero-tolerance approach to ensure everyone in the creative arts is protected as they return to work.
“We’re pleased to see the Government is recognising the seriousness of this issue after having recently convened a series of important creative industries-wide meetings to ensure positive action is implemented. Now we ask for action: we need the Government to strengthen the law to prevent sexual harassment at work before it happens.
“Together, with survivors, and other trade bodies like UK Music who are committed to ensuring change happens, we want to create a movement to ensure the music industry is a safe place to work for everyone.”
According to MU, in a poll taken prior to the pandemic, 48% of musicians have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work and 58% had witnessed an incident of sexual harassment whilst at work. No amount of sexual harassment is acceptable, but these numbers are deeply troubling.
The MU is calling on the public to sign up for free to its Supporter programme to become part of the movement to protect musicians in the workplace and add weight to its demand of the government. Hopefully a similar organization in the US can form to combat our own workplace sexual misconduct.