News August 5, 2020

Music biz launches ‘Don’t Be That Guy’ anti-harassment initiative

Music biz launches ‘Don’t Be That Guy’ anti-harassment initiative

The Australian music industry has moved swiftly in response to a series of recent sexual harassment and assault incidents with a new tool and resource for 1-on-1 interactions.

The Music Industry Collaborative Commitment launches with the support of labels, industry bodies and music media outlets with the tagline “don’t be that guy”.

The new resource comes into place to firstly acknowledge systemic and harmful power imbalances within the music industry, and secondly, as a shared commitment to help change.

Organisers want it adopted by the wider industry, putting safety and respect on the agenda when setting up writing or recording sessions, photoshoots, rehearsals and any kind of meeting.

It also aims to provide guidelines on appropriate behaviour so all parties can commit to creating a safe environment before they meet.

“In a matter of mere days, we’ve received overwhelming support for the Commitment. It’s a shame that we even need something like this, but this is an industry that is committed to change,” said Mick Walsh, a Sydney-based artist manager, and co-founder of the Music Industry Collaborative Commitment.

“We’ve made a conscious decision to use the word ‘guy’ in this context. This is largely a men’s issue, and we’d be remiss not to acknowledge that.”

The initiative was developed through community and expert consultation including representatives covering ability, POC, First Nations, LGBTQI, Trans*, womxn, and age.

The Commitment covers discrimination, harassment and abuse related to gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age, ability and minority status.

“This is inclusive and it’s backed by our music industry community,” said Poppy Reid, managing editor at The Brag Media and co-founder of the Commitment.

“We’re offering a resource for meetings and gatherings and a commitment to respect peers. We’re all aware change is needed. We’re all aware change is coming. I hope this plays a part in that.”

The Commitment is about a common-sense approach that sets a tone of respect and safety for all meetings and outlining issues and sensitivities for those who may not be aware of them

Organisers equally hope it’s a cautionary reminder for those who already have an understanding.

The Commitment is already supported by AIR, BMG Australia and New Zealand, Downtown Music Publishing, UNIFIED Music Group, Eleven Music, Mirror Music, I OH YOU, Vita Artists, Cooking Vinyl, Space44, Beehive PR, Deathproof PR, Bossy Music, The PR Files, Musiio, The Music Network, The Brag Media, Comes With Fries, Grindin’, Support Act and more to come.

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