In recent years, high-profile artists like Lily Allen and Madonna have been talking about sexual harassment in the music industry.
The Musicians ‘ Union says that the artists most impacted are too afraid to speak out
According to new research, just under half of the musicians in the UK have experienced sexual harassment in the industry.
A survey of 725 musicians was conducted by the Musicians ‘ Union and found that 48 percent said they were sexually harassed while working.
Yet 85% of victims were afraid to speak out because of a culture that has “no repercussions for the perpetrators”, the union said.
High-profile celebrities including Lily Allen, Madonna and Cardi B have spoken in recent years about sexual abuse and misbehavior in the industry, with Allen alleging in her 2018 autobiography My Thoughts that she was sexually assaulted when she was drunk at a party by a record executive.
Brit Award nominee Chloe Howl told Sky News earlier this year that sexual abuse was common at all levels of the industry and there are “more systems in place to shield abusers” than victims.
“I know masses of girls in the industry who have handled with sexual assault, who have been raped by a member of their team, who have been harassed by a member of their team, who have been basically told that their career stream will be interrupted if they don’t appease what [ the abusers ] want, and for many of these girls their careers have stopped”, she said.
The Musicians ‘ Union says that most affected young artists end up leaving the industry and calls on the government to introduce stricter laws to stop abuse.
Deputy Secretary General Naomi Pohl said: “We are aware of far too many cases of talented musicians, especially young or emerging artists, leaving the industry entirely because of sexism, sexual harassment or abuse.
Many musicians who have made their story public are now being brought to court for defamation-evidence of the situation we are dealing with.
“Survivors are often unable to speak out because the consequences are devastating for their career or personal life.
“The survivor ends up leaving the workplace or industry in most cases that we are aware of and there are very few consequences for the perpetrator.”
In her 2018 autobiography My Thoughts, Lily Allen claimed that she was sexually assaulted by an industry executive.
More than half of the musicians surveyed said they thought the industry’s culture was the main barrier to reporting abuse of any kind, the union said. Approximately 60 percent said they were put at greater risk by working on a freelance basis, without the same safeguards as those provided to those in fixed employment.
An anonymous musician who spoke to the union said in a statement: “I reported sexual harassment by a high-profile individual to a major employer in the industry.
“I was told this was just ‘lad culture’ by the person investigating my complaint. No wonder such a high proportion of issues go unreported.”
Top reasons given for not speaking out in the research are fear of losing work, belief that the problem would not be handled properly, and fear that claims would not be taken seriously.
The union calls on the public to sign a petition addressed to Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss, calling for freelancers to be given “an equal level of protection to those in fixed employment”.
The government’s equality office responded by saying abuses “must be stopped “and that a consultation on how current laws can be improved had just finished.
Said a spokeswoman.”We proposed a number of measures to strengthen and clarify the law so that we can provide explicit protections to anyone who experiences this vile behaviour in the workplace,”