BLIM launches YourSafetyYourSay survey on bullying in the music industry

BLIM launches YourSafetyYourSay survey on bullying in the music industry

Black Lives In Music (BLIM), have launched their YourSafetyYourSay survey on bullying and harassment in the music industry. 

In light of becoming aware of abuse in the music industry, BLIM will be using the anonymous survey to collect real world data, which will inform legislation and the work of the new Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority (CIISA) and the wider music industry. It will also be used to support BLIM’s forthcoming Anti-Racist Code Of Conduct and reporting tool, which will work towards eradicating discrimination, bullying and harassment throughout the music ecosystem.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has also requested the data to inform their work in this area. 

"The YourSafetyYourSay survey is needed to help eradicate discrimination, bullying and harassment in the music industry, especially towards Black and POC individuals, and to have somewhere to report these incidents,” said singer-songwriter VV Brown. “This is such important work, and I fully support Black Lives In Music’s valiant work, and urge those comfortable to share their stories. As a black woman, I often felt silenced and excluded, labelled as aggressive or aloof, I faced a barrage of racist comments online, and one of the most painful incidents was when a prominent DJ on national radio mocked my appearance with a caller. I cried for days, even though it marked my first radio play. The expectation to internalise and tolerate [bullying in the workplace] was pervasive.”

Nova Twins said: “We have to acknowledge the barriers faced by POC talent within the industry. Far too often, Black musicians and industry professionals encounter bullying and harassment, stifling their voices and existence. Discriminatory labels limit our creativity and opportunities, hindering our ability to thrive. Hearing from other artists like us with very similar experiences, both independent and on majors, has been eye-opening. These hurdles, and plenty more like them, could've easily held us back from reaching our full potential. That’s why the YourSafetyYourSay survey is a vital step towards amplifying marginalised voices, uncovering untold stories that need to be heard. 

Grammy-winning artist Kamille added: “From the beginning of my journey in the music industry, I’ve faced so many barriers. I realised very early on that black women in music are labelled negatively when we defend ourselves against bullying. We’re often judged beyond our talents, and even sometimes exploited in ways that can gaslight us into accepting harassment online via social media, in the form constructive criticism. But it’s not ok, and I think it’s important to speak up against bullying in any form. I really want to use my platform to promote a safe supportive space for all types of black artists.” 

“I want to express my full support for BLIM’s initiative to address the shocking findings of bullying and harassment in our industry,” said co-founder and CEO of Pirate Studios – who are supporting YourSafetyYourSay – David Borrie. “Music studios should be a safe and inclusive environment for all artists – a space where creativity and self-expression can thrive. We invite and encourage our community of over 400k grassroots artists to participate in the YourSafetyYourSay survey, helping us better understand the experience of marginalised voices, and most importantly, how issues of bullying, harassment and discrimination can be eradicated from our industry.” 

The survey is also supported by The Ivors Academy, whose CEO Roberto Neri said: “There is no place for bullying, harassment and discrimination in music. No one in the industry should be abusing their positions and no victims should be silenced through NDAs or fearful of the implications of speaking out. It is time that freelancers are not left vulnerable and isolated. Black Lives In Music’s research is a powerful way to give voice and drive the change that we need. I encourage everyone in music to complete the survey and take us one step closer to a fair and just industry." 

Chief Executive of BLiM, Charisse Beaumont also commented: “We are flooded with stories from people who have experienced bullying and (sexual) harassment in the music industry. They are shocking and it’s clear that high profile cases in the media are the tip of an iceberg. It can happen to anyone and it is often rooted in misogyny, racism, homophobia, transphobia and more. Bullying and harassment is normalised in the music industry, as shown by the Misogyny In Music Inquiry, it’s time to double up our efforts against it, against (sexual) harassment and discrimination. Black Lives In Music is fighting to ensure equality is standard in the music industry. Together, we can create a safe music industry where everyone thrives.” 

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