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Sexualised female pop stars: 'Artists often have themselves to blame,' says Chris Wright

Tim Ingham
Sexualised female pop stars: 'Artists often have themselves to blame,' says Chris Wright

Female artists who present a sexualised portrayal of themselves in videos and live performances are almost always in control of their image, Chris Wright has claimed.

The BMG Chrysalis non-executive chairman - who signed Debbie Harry and Blondie to his label in 1977 - has given his view on one of the modern industry's hottest issues in a new interview.

2013 has seen controversial videos from Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus flaunt sexualised imagery in the mainstream pop world, triggering accusations of sexism and objectification of women.

Some respected figures, such as Annie Lennox, have called on the government to introduce more stringent online age ratings on such videos.

Earlier this month, Lily Allen released her video for new single (and feminist pop anthem) Hard Out Here, which mocked the often cartoonish nature of 2013's sexualised music videos.

And in October, former classical child star Charlotte Church blamed the music industry for pressing her to present a sexualised image when she launched a more 'adult' pop career in the early noughties.

Wright, the co-founder of Chrysalis Music, told The Telegraph: "A lot of artists, male or female, young or old, will blame the business for anything that happens that they think in retrospect might have been wrong for them.

"If things go great, a lot of artists think it’s down to them as people; if things go wrong it’s someone else’s fault and the music business is a convenient scapegoat. So you’ve got to take comments like hers [Church] with a pinch of salt.”

He added: “You’ve got people like Charlotte who’ve had an often wholesome image as a young teenager and when they get to their late teens and early 20s they very often rebel against that image.

"And it doesn’t just happen with singers – the same thing has happened to an extent with Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Capriati, the tennis player who got into all sorts of trouble. The truth is it’s very often the artist themselves who are particularly to blame for these problems.”

Wright's comments come after a Music Week interview with Sony Music UK CEO and chairman Nick Gatfield in October, in which the exec was asked about accusations that the record company had instructed Miley Cyrus to exaggerate her sexuality in videos and performances.

Gatfield said that Cyrus was totally in control of her creative output and image, adding: "[That view] is just massively, massively off the mark.

"There's a high degree of ignorance, both within Government and the press, about the level of influence [that the record business] has over our artists, as if we're some kind of puppet-master, pulling strings and saying: 'You shall twerk now! Do something shocking with a foam finger! It just doesn't work that way."

Source: The Telegraph

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Tags: Miley cyrus, Chris Wright

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