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Misogyny and sexual assault rife in music industry: UK MPs

By AFP

January 30, 2024 10:26 PM


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British MPs on Tuesday called on the music industry to clean up its act, as it laid bare a catalogue of misogyny, discrimination and sexual abuse in a damning report.

"The music industry has always prided itself on being a vehicle for social change," parliament's Women and Equalities Committee said.

"When it comes to discrimination, and the harassment and sexual abuse of women, it has a lot of work to do."

The 74-page report, "Misogyny in Music", looked at the entire music sector, from radio stations and recording studios, to festivals and orchestras.

The industry "is still routinely described as a 'boys' club'", with predominantly white men in key roles, the MPs said.

"Women seeking careers in music continue to face unjustifiable limitations in opportunity, a lack of support, gender discrimination and sexual harassment as well as the 'persistent issue of equal pay' in a sector dominated by self-employment," they added.

"These issues are intensified for artists faced with intersectional barriers" such as ethnic minorities or the LGBTQ+ community, it added.

Last year saw women rise to the top of UK music sales charts like never before, with seven of the top 10 most streamed tracks coming from female artists.

But their success masks a darker reality, the MPs said, as women still only represented less than a third of top-selling artists and 14 percent of songwriters.

Female under-representation is everywhere, particularly in positions of power but also among artists signing with major record labels, in radio or streaming broadcasts, festival headliners or performers selected for the most prestigious awards.

Last year's Glastonbury Festival -- the country's biggest and best known -- was criticised for only having male headliners.

In the last 20 years, only five female stars have earned top billing.

This year, Glastonbury co-organiser Emily Eavis raised the prospect of having two female headliners, sparking media speculation of potential appearances by Dua Lipa and Madonna.

Eavis told the committee during evidence sessions: "We're trying our best so the pipeline needs to be developed.

"This starts way back with the record companies, radio. I can shout as loud as I like but we need to get everyone on board."

The report, based on individual interviews and in-person hearings, throws up complaints about salary inequalities and systematic belittling of women, as well as a focus on their physical appearance.

"Despite increases in representation, discrimination and misogyny remain endemic," it added.


AFP


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