Music Industry Review spells out the path to success and what it can do to avoid being ‘just another report’
Content Warning: This article covers sexual assault & harassment and may be triggering for some readers. If you or someone you know are affected by the following story, you are not alone. To speak to someone, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
The industry has been warned that the Music Industry Review into sexual harm, sexual harassment and systemic discrimination is in danger of becoming ‘just another report’ which gathers dust if the sector doesn’t take certain and concrete steps after its release.
Independent consultants Alexandra Shehadie and Sam Turner have been appointed to conduct the review which will incorporate confidential interviews, confidential submissions, a national survey and focus groups. Its findings, which will include recommendations designed to ensure the music industry moves to a safe, respectful and inclusive culture, will be handed down in June next year.
Whilst it’s not an investigation targeting specific incidents or individuals, there will need to be action and accountability after its release, the industry was told today.
“Unfortunately it will just be another report unless there’s courageous and committed leadership from the industry. If you don’t have that type of leadership, it will just gather dust. So courageous leadership is what ultimately brings about real change, and this means leaders in the industry, those with power and influence – whether they run companies, are performers, producers, agents, and others – must visibly and tangible commit to implementing the recommendations. They must be transparent about the implementation and they must establish an accountability and monetary mechanism to ensure change happens, progresses and is measured,” the industry was told in a meeting about the Review today.
Despite the risks of losing steam or waning commitment, the music industry was praised today for its early movements and momentum in agitating for change and staying the course.
“There is, as we know now, great momentum for change across the industry,” a speaker today said. “So one of the [potential] pitfalls would be, don’t lose that momentum, ensure that the course for cultural change is focused and doesn’t stray.
“This is also a review that will gather media attention, so it’s important to keep stories confidential and to balance the narrative across the entire industry for all roles and all people… People do want change, and it’s incumbent on everyone to ensure that change occurs… Maintaining that momentum and commitment [will be key].”
The Review and subsequent report’s success relies on widespread acceptance and action on the recommendations that come from it, speakers said today, particularly from those with power and influence.
“But more broadly, [success] will be a music industry where everyone will eventually have the opportunity to thrive and where everyone is safe and respected. In those instances where people do suffer harm, there should be safe processes and mechanisms in place for them to report, and for perpetrators to be held to account. So success will be when the industry’s culture is inclusive and safe for all, and there is strong accountability.”
The Music Industry Review is the culmination of the efforts of the Temporary Working Group which was established in the wake of a series of stories about discrimination, harassment and abuse in the industry.
The Temporary Working Group of Deena Lynch (Jaguar Jonze), Emily Collins (MusicNSW), Julia Robinson (Australian Festivals Association), Larissa Ryan (Hutch Collective), Mardi Caught (The Annex), Sarah Woolcott (BMG Rights Management) and Sophie Paterson (Sony Music Australia) formed in May.
You can find out more about the Music Industry Review, including calls for funding and support and how to get involved, here.
If you need assistance after reading this article, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.