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'Survivors Are Not Being Listened To': Outrage as U.K. Government Rejects Report on Misogyny in Music

'The report laid bare the incredibly serious problems the sector has and the entirely reasonable steps Government should take to the rectify them,' said the Independent Society of Musicians' Deborah Annetts.

Source: Women and Equalities Committee

Multiple musicians testified to sexism and misogyny in the industry.

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On April 19, the U.K. Parliament published its responses from the Women and Equalities Select Committee (WESC) on the inquiries summarized in their 'Misogyny in Music' report published in January. The Government's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has decided not to move forward on those recommendations, in effect rejecting the WESC's report, despite all oral evidence given in multiple sessions.

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Source: HM Government

UK Government responds to misogyny and harassment in the UK music industry.

Not surprisingly, many representatives on behalf of the creative arts industry have come to the fore on social media in the UK to voice their outrage and disappointment with that decision.

The Independent Society of Musicians UK (ISM) Chief Executive Deborah Annetts, who gave evidence to the Misogyny in Music inquiry said, "The Misogyny in Music report should have been a moment of immediate and lasting change for the music industry. The report laid bare the incredibly serious problems the sector has and the entirely reasonable steps Government should take to rectify them. For the Government to choose not to make music safer for women is painfully disappointing, if sadly not surprising. The brilliant women who make our music industry what it is deserve better."

General Secretary Naomi Pohl of the Musician's Union responded in unison. "Women from across the music industry have bravely shared their experiences of misogyny, sexual harassment and abuse as well as other very real barriers they face whilst working in the industry. The Government had an opportunity to listen and learn from those lived experiences and implement the changes that the WESC report recommended. Instead, the Government decided that women's safety is not a priority. Again, survivors are not being listened to."

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Source: BLIM

Charisse Beaumont, chief executive of Black Lives in Music.

For those women that gave oral evidence during the WESC meetings, their stories had only reinforced what had become common knowledge in the music industry. Charisse Beaumont, CEO of Black Lives in Music, a charity working to dismantle racism in the industry, reported that "70% of Black female artists have felt the need to change something about themselves in the industry and that 43% of Black women working had changed something about themselves to be more accepted in the industry."

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Singer Rebecca Ferguson gave evidence during the committee hearings.

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Singer and former X Factor contestant Rebecca Ferguson also gave evidence to the committee. She said bullying and corruption were allowed to happen in the industry, and testified she had been told that rapes were kept private. In addition, she claimed her management company bullied her when she wanted to exit, and company staff "were instructed to ruin my personal relationships [and] ignore calls from my children."

Former BBC Radio 1 DJ Annie Macmanus testified before the WESC inquiry, stating the music business is "a boys' club" and "the system is kind of rigged against women."

"It's infuriating, the amount of women who have stories of sexual assault that just kind of buried them and carried them," she said. "It's just unbelievable.

"So I do think if something were to happen, like if one person was to speak that had enough profile where it got media attention, I think there could be a kind of tidal wave of it. Definitely."


'The system is kind of rigged against women,' said former BBC DJ Annie Macmanus.

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From the UK Parliament official report: "HM Government is clear that everyone should be able to work in the music industry without being subject to misogyny and discrimination.

"Whilst it is crucial that the Government provides robust legal protections for workers, we share the Committee’s view that the music industry must do all it can to ensure that workplaces are safe and supportive environments for women, and the entire workforce."

The Government's only response for regulatory standards will be continued support of the The Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority (CIIA), formed in 2022, who oversee all the UK’s creative industries, from films and television to games and fashion. The organization is headed by interim CEO Jen Smith.


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