48% of musicians have experienced sexual harassment at work, a new study has revealed.
The Musicians’ Union, which represents some 30,000 artists, surveyed 725 of its members to gain a further understanding of the issue of sexual harassment in the industry. The results found that 48% of musicians have faced sexual harassment at work, with 85% of victims not reporting it. The Musicians’ Union claims that this is largely due to the workplace culture in the music industry.
An anonymous case study told the union: “I reported sexual harassment by a high-profile individual to a major employer in the industry. I understand I was one of ten women making reports about the same individual and yet no action was taken as far as I’m aware.”
The harassment victim was told by those investigating the case that “this was just ‘lad culture’” in the industry. “No wonder such a high proportion of issues go unreported,” she told the union.
Naomi Pohl, Deputy General Secretary at the Musicians’ Union, said: “We are aware of far too many cases of talented musicians, particularly young or emerging artists, leaving the industry altogether due to sexism, sexual harassment or abuse.”
“Survivors are often unable to speak out because the consequences for their career or personal life are devastating. In most cases we’re aware of, the survivor ends up leaving the workplace or the industry and there are very few consequences for the perpetrator.”
The report also states that 61% of those surveyed feel they are at risk because they work on a freelance basis and therefore do not see the same level of legal protection as those in other sectors. The Musician’s Union is, therefore, calling upon the government to safeguard freelancers from victimisation.