Eve Simmons | Contributing Writer | Friday, 22 January 2016

The industry aint safe

Women Are Using Tumblr To Tell Their Stories Of Sexual Assault In The Music Industry

The Debrief: Since the Heathcliff Berru scandal came to light this week, more and more women in music are sharing their sexual harassment stories

The scandal spotlight was on the music industry this week, after PR, Heathcliff Berru was disgraced for allegedly sexually harassing several women while CEO of his company, Life or Death PR. After he stepped down on Wednesday, more women in the music industry spoke out about similar experiences. 

Making a particularly bold statement is the crowd-sourced Tumblr page, The Industry Ain’t Safe. Set up yesterday by an LA record label employee with six years’ experience in the industry, the anonymous activist aims to name and shame alleged attackers.

The Industry Ain’t Safe is a space for women to contribute to the campaign and shine light on the shadiness of those at the top of the music business.  Under the ‘Why This Is Here’ heading, the Tumblr creator writes: ‘I found that the industry was a place just as shadowy as the real world (usually more so). I’ve been the victim of a sexual harassment and assault on multiple occasions, in multiple cities and with multiple men.’

She then goes on to explain why she launched the page:

‘Women could use an outlet to anonymously share their experiences and find support in each other, without the risk of straining relationships, individually or corporately,’ she says. ‘Women can reclaim power from this inarguably patriarchal industry and let their voices be heard.’

Any woman who works/has worked in the music industry can submit their own stories to the website, which are compiled together and displayed publicly.  The Tumblr page is in its infancy and only a couple of women have used it as an outlet to expose their attackers – so far.

One girl names her harasser and gives details of one particular occasion involving hideously inappropriate nipple-pinching. Another musician, who chose to identify herself as Shanda Woods, shares the story of a violent, abusive bandmate who ‘tried to kill [her]’. 

‘He took everything,’ she says. ‘Our friendship, our work, our music, all of my musical gear. I’ve been picking up the pieces of my personal and professional music life.’

It seems that despite the horrific nature of the tales emerging from the murky waters of the music industry, the revelations have finally given women in the music industry the platform to share their experiences. 

As Shanda says: ‘Thank you for starting this community, it makes me feel less isolated and hopeless. 

Please feel free to share my story, i do not want to remain anonymous. I want the whole of Brooklyn and NYC to know my story, in the event it helps others.’ 

Like This? You Might Also Be Interested In:

How These Women Used Twitter To Out A Senior Music Executive Accused Of Sexual Assault 

Why Are The Sexual Politics Of Westminster So Problematic?

Sexual Harassment On Trains Is A Fact Of Life

Follow Eve on Twitter: @EvieSimm

 

 

Tags: Music, Sexual Assault