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Select Committee to learn about scale of bullying and harassment in music industry

24th October 2022

A national survey which has revealed widespread examples of bullying and harassment in the music industry will be discussed by a government Select Committee this week (Wednesday 26 October).

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

The findings revealed that 96% of all respondents had experienced bullying and 81% had experienced harassment.

Those with a disability or who identified as a sexual minority also reported significant levels of bullying, at 98% and 97% respectively.

85% of those responding said that the bullying and harassment they experienced had negatively impacted on them, with more than half saying that the perpetrator had influence over their career.

The findings of this report, as well as a further analysis which focused specifically on the experiences of women in the industry, have been submitted as evidence and will be discussed as part of the Women and Equalities Select Committee hearing on Misogyny in Music, being held on Wednesday 26 October.

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 crew, producers, promoters, managers and more.

Dr Manoussaki, a lecturer at the University of West Scotland, said: “The 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 marginalised groups.”

Dr Jones, a lecturer in criminology in Northumbria University’s Department of Social Sciences, will give oral evidence on this research and the experiences of women working in the music industry at the Select Committee hearing in the Palace of Westminster.

She said: “The MeToo movement has brought a reckoning for those engaging in abusive workplace behaviours but has made little inroads in the music industry, despite the prominent coverage of sexual predators.

“This research shows there is an immediate need for an independent music industry body that will ensure organisations comply with laws and hold perpetrators accountable and protect all victims.”

The Misogyny in Music inquiry was established to examine what misogynistic attitudes exist in the music industry and how they can filter through to society, impacting attitudes towards and treatment of women and girls at live music events.

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

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