SXSW Panel Recap: Sexual Misconduct in the Music Industry

The many dimensions of bringing #MeToo to music

Attempting to tether the quickly-evolving prism of sexual harassment prevention to the music industry is a multifaceted effort, each angle casting new reflections and potential answers.

(L-r) Andrea Domanick, Peggy Hogan, Caitlin White, Beth Martinez (Photo by Jana Birchum)

In Thursday’s conference panel at the Austin Convention Center, four industry women tackled the issue by partaking in one of their own suggested solutions: open, engaging dialogue.

Danger Village PR founder Beth Martinez acted as moderator, posing the initial inquiry as to whether the #MeToo movement has yet landed in music. Andrea Domanick, West Coast editor of Vice music channel Noisey, grounded the discussion in her data- and account-driven exposé of sexual misconduct’s deep integration in the music industry.

“It’s apples and oranges,” insisted Domanick. “It’s not about comparing music to other industries, but looking at why our industry works the way it does. What has long been regarded and turned into cover stories of rock star behavior is stuff that today is clearly sexual misconduct.”

The convo refracted into cultural examples of Kesha v. Dr. Luke, R. Kelly, and Chris Brown, as well as the interplay of race in reaction to assault stories. Scattered cases mirrored the subject’s intricacy and made clear the need for some reshaping of the current movement for efficacy within the music industry.

Art Not Love Records A&R/artist Peggy Hogan asserted that cross-cultural diversity of talent booking, industry executives, and media coverage would solve many of the ingrained issues. Caitlin White echoed the sentiment in mentioning her own inclusive hiring efforts as the editorial director of music at Uproxx.

“Walking around here at South By, 99 percent of what you’re going to hear is guitar rock with four white guys onstage,” Hogan remarked. “I challenge everyone who’s a gatekeeper to look outside of their comfort zone and listen to some sounds that they’re not used to hearing.”

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Sexual Misconduct in the Music Industry SXSW Panel, SXSW Music 2018, Danger Village PR, Beth Martinez, Art Not Love Records, Peggy Hogan, Uproxx, Caitlin White, Noisey, Andrea Domanick, Kesha v. Dr. Luke, R. Kelly, Chris Brown

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