Select committee to learn more about the extent of bullying and harassment in the music industry

A nationwide inquiry that found widespread examples of bullying and harassment in the music industry will be discussed by a select government committee this week (Wednesday October 26).

Almost 600 people working in a variety of roles in the wider UK music industry responded to the survey conducted by academics from the University of the West of Scotland and Northumbria University.

The results revealed that 96% of all respondents had been bullied and 81% had been harassed.

People with disabilities or who identified as being part of a sexual minority also reported significant levels of bullying, at 98% and 97% respectively.

85% of respondents said the bullying and harassment they had experienced had a negative impact on them, and more than half said the bully had influenced their career.

The findings of this report, along with a more in-depth analysis specific to the experiences of women in the industry, have been submitted as evidence and will be discussed as part of the Select Committee hearing on women and women. Equalities on Misogyny in Music, which will be held on Wednesday, October 26.

Dr Cassandra Jones and Dr Kallia Manoussaki co-led the study, which was funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, to compile this first evidence base on bullying and harassment experienced by people working as musicians, technical team, producers, promoters, managers and more.

Dr Manoussaki, a senior lecturer at the University of West Scotland, said: “Research has highlighted an urgent need for change in the music industry.

“These findings, along with quantitative data, underscore the urgency of the problem of bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment. There is a disproportionate prevalence among women and marginalized groups.

Dr Jones, a senior lecturer in criminology in the Department of Social Sciences at Northumbria University, will give oral testimony about this research and the experiences of women working in the music industry at the select committee hearing at the Palace of Westminster.

She said: “The MeToo movement has brought a toll for those who engage in abusive behavior in the workplace, but has made little inroad in the music industry, despite significant coverage of sexual predators.

“This research shows that there is an immediate need for an independent music industry body that will ensure organizations follow the laws, hold perpetrators accountable and protect all victims..”

The Misogyny in Music Survey was launched to examine what misogynistic attitudes exist in the music industry and how they can ripple through society, influencing attitudes and the treatment of women and girls at events live music.

The authors of the report encourage anyone working in the music industry to continue to share their views through confidential interviews. To enter, email Cassandra Jones or contact the researchers on Twitter.

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