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Oz music bodies apologise after survey findings

Australian music bodies have apologised in response to the damning findings of an independent review into the nature and extent of the key issues facing the sector.

The Raising their Voices report, commissioned by the Australian contemporary music business, surveyed more than 1,600 people to examine the prevalence of sexual harm, sexual harassment and systemic discrimination in the industry.

It found high rates of sexual harassment, sexual harm and bullying, and calls for an industry-wide approach to prevent and respond to the findings. It concluded that women do not thrive to the same extent as men, and that young people and people of diverse backgrounds can be at particular risk of harm and poor employment practices.

“Leaders in the music industry have a collective responsibility to use their influence to drive widespread change”

“We want to acknowledge the courage of those victim survivors and everyone who shared their stories as part of this review,” Emily Collins, MD MusicNSW and a member of the temporary working group set up to oversee the review.

“Bringing this information to light is a critical first step in understanding not only the extent of harm that has occurred but also setting out a clear path for the music industry to improve and strengthen its workplace culture for everyone.”

Australian Festivals Association MD and temporary working group member Julia Robinson says industry leaders have an important role to play.

“Leaders in the music industry have a collective responsibility to use their influence to drive widespread change and create a safe and inclusive workplace built on respect,” she says.

“As disturbing and confronting as the findings are, the Australian music industry is committed to change and to rebuilding trust”

In a joint letter of acknowledgement signed by dozens of organisations including Live Nation, Ticketmaster, Frontier Touring, TEG, Chugg Entertainment, Secret Sounds Group, Moshtix, the Country Music Association of Australia and the Australian Festival Association, the industry vows it “can and will continue to do better”.

“As leaders in the Australian contemporary music industry, we accept the distressing findings of the Review,” reads the letter. “We acknowledge the harm documented by the Review, and we are sorry. This Review has been a vital process of listening and truth telling. We thank all the participants for their courage in speaking out, in bravely re-living their experiences, and engaging in this critical report. We acknowledge the impact of these behaviours on the lives of victim survivors from our industry.

“Everyone has the right to work in an environment free from bullying, sexual harassment, sexual assault and discrimination. As disturbing and confronting as the findings are, the Australian music industry is committed to change and to rebuilding trust. The music industry should – and will – foster safe, welcoming, respectful, creative, and fun environments.

“We have been listening and have heard your calls for change. We can and will continue to do better. We all can.”

“Our work has already started, and it will not stop until we have a culture that is safe for all”

It continues: “As leaders and members of the music community, we all have a responsibility to model courageous leadership and do our best to bring an end to poor and destructive behaviour. We urge all in the music industry to continue working with us to implement long-term, sustainable change for the better. We all have a personal and professional responsibility to make our culture the best it can be.

“We are committed to working through the recommendations of the report, doing the necessary work and being accountable, to ensure our industry workplaces are safe, inclusive, and respectful. Our work has already started, and it will not stop until we have a culture that is safe for all.”

Of those surveyed, 55% had experienced some form of workplace sexual harassment and sexual harm in their career, including 72% of women surveyed and 39% of men, while bullying was experienced by 76% of survey participants at some point in their career in the industry.

“I commend the music industry for commissioning this independent review as a positive step towards identifying the areas of the music industry that need to change,” adds Alexandra Shehadie from MAPN Consulting, which led the review. “The task now is to follow through with implementing the recommendations right across the industry.

“Australia has a vibrant, dynamic and creative music industry. It is important to ensure that it is also inclusive, respectful and safe so that all who work in it are free from harm and discrimination, and can thrive.”

 


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Industry bullying and harassment helpline launched

A new helpline that supports those suffering bullying and harassment within the UK music industry has been launched by charity Help Musicians.

The move, which is backed by organisations including UK Music, The Musicians’ Union (MU), the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), and the BPI, follows a number of high-profile musicians speaking out on the need for more to be done to support those experiencing difficulties.

The service will be offered to everyone working within the music industry, with callers able to immediately speak with a specialist bullying and harassment counsellor. The new helpline aims to fill a gap in support provision, ensuring that those working in the music industry, including freelancers, have a place to turn for advice and practical help.

“Bullying and harassment requires a collaborative response across the music industry,” says James Ainscough, CEO of Help Musicians. “The creation of the helpline is a vital next step and Help Musicians is well placed to provide this service, as an independent charity.

“We hope in time that musicians and all those who work in music will feel better emotionally supported”

“Anyone who is concerned about a bullying and harassment situation can call the helpline, share their concerns confidentially and receive advice on how to navigate the issue they are facing. We hope in time that musicians and all those who work in music will feel better emotionally supported as well as gaining practical advice on how to resolve any problems.

“The anonymous insight we will gather through this service will shed more light on the issues being experienced and help to target the collaborative efforts for positive and permanent change across the music industry. This is a vital service, and we ask for everybody’s help in promoting awareness of it, to ensure that individuals who need it will know that they can call for support at any time.”

As well as helping those impacted by bullying and harassment, the new helpline aims to shed more light on the extent of the issue across the industry and inform collaborative, industry-wide efforts for a positive and permanent change to help stamp out bullying and harassment.

Help Musicians will ensure full anonymity for all callers and the service will work alongside The MU’s SafeSpace service and the ISM-MU Code of Conduct. Anyone within the UK music industry experiencing bullying and harassment can call the helpline on 0800 088 2045.

 


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A Star is Born producer fired from LN Productions

Live Nation Entertainment has announced that A Star is Born producer, Heather Parry, will leave her role as president of Live Nation Productions amid abuse and workplace bullying allegations.

Parry ran Live Nation Productions, the television and film branch of the live entertainment company, for three years. The company placed her on leave in December, after employees alleged that Parry used racist and homophobic language at work.

The two-month inquiry into the allegations could not validate claims of racism and homophobia, but concluded that the work environment under Parry did not meet the expectations of the company, with multiple reports of verbal attacks and intimidating behaviour.

In an interview with Variety, one former Live Nation employee describes Parry as an “emotional terrorist”, stating that “on multiple occasions I had colleagues come to me distressed and often crying about how Heather had treated them that day.”

“Heather Parry will be leaving Live Nation, effective immediately”

“Heather Parry will be leaving Live Nation, effective immediately,” Live Nation officials said in a statement. “Live Nation is committed to the Live Nation Productions division and to our pipeline of artist-driven projects which will be led moving forward by current executives Ryan Kroft, Matt Stein and Chad Wasser.”

Parry comments: “At times I have had to be relentless, because nothing of great value ever comes easy. As a boss, I’m tough and brutally honest, and through this process I have learned how I can go about being not only a more effective leader but a better person.”

As head of Live Nation Productions, Parry helped to produce Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s A Star is Born. Parry formerly worked at Adam Sandler’s company, Happy Madison Productions, and MTV News.

 


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