The high profile #MeToo movement has had a huge impact on the film industry; however, a recent investigation by the of Commons Women and Equalities Committee has established that the same impact has not been seen in the often-overlapping music industry.
The investigation is part of the Committee’s efforts to try and prevent violence occurring against women and girls. It has been established from experts involved in the investigation that few women in music reported misogyny and abuse and then when people were accused, no action was taken against them.
Dr Cassandra Jones, who lectures in criminology at the University of Northumbria, reports that around 20% of women who reported misogyny in the music industry said that no further action was taken following their disclosures. It is alleged that instead, the accuser’s career was impacted, and, in some cases, a non-disclosure agreement was issued on the reporting individual.
Dr Jones believes that this type of conduct will influence the way others affected deal with misogyny, most likely resulting in women choosing not to report their experiences. With the music industry being so competitive and only few succeeding, it is thought women do not want to take the risk of damaging their career. Dr Jones suggests there should be more accountability in the music industry and a monitoring body or similar be created to oversee conduct within the industry.
The same investigation heard from Charisse Beaumont, Chief Executive of the Black Lives in Music initiative; who said that there is no official group to which bad behaviour can be reported; including misogyny. The Black Lives in Music initiative reports that only 5% of producers in the music industry are female and therefore the is a huge gender imbalance.
Beaumont suggests that given the gender imbalance, there should be more obvious signposting for potential perpetrators to show that there will be serious consequences if they are found to be inappropriate and misogynistic in these environments.
It is yet to be seen whether a regulatory body will be created; however, it seems obvious that the creation of some sort of regulator would at the very least give women an option to report their experiences and for them to be heard and offered advice within the music industry. All organisations and sectors should if they have not done so be considering their culture to be clear that misogyny and abuse will not be tolerated, and to have in place appropriate procedures and support for reporting and responding it does occur.