Tove Lo, Robyn, Zara Larsson, First Aid Kit and Seinabo Sey are among 2,192 women who are making their voices heard in their native Sweden when it comes to sexual abuse and harassment. They have signed an open letter that brings these issues to life in the Swedish music industry.
Along with condemning the ongoing abuse and assault, some women have also used this opportunity to bravely share their own stories. The letter begins:
Not long ago the majority of the people on stage were men. The people who wrote about music in newspapers were men, the people in power at record companies, concert halls and rock venues were men. Men had the interpretative prerogative in all aspects of the music industry.
Today the situation has changed. The big companies have female directors; award shows are dominated by female prize winners. Even the gender balance among critics in the media is close to 60/40 - a distribution which is the expressed goal in the industry. But behind the scenes—what we call backstage—artists, musicians, composers, students, record company employees, trainees and others testify of assault, sexual harassment and a sexist jargon. Here are some of our stories.
"But we will no longer be silent. We demand zero tolerance for sexual exploitation or violence. Sexual assault or violence will have consequences in terms of terminations of contracts. The people in power in the industry—it’s your responsibility to make sure that no one is sexually vulnerable at the work place, and you have failed," it continues. The open letter was first published in Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter on November 17.
Following its release, a Warner Music Sweden executive was suspended from his role "amidst multiple allegations of sexual misconduct involving both Warner employees and artist signees," Billboard reports. It is just one of many continuous reports of the dark and disgusting side of Hollywood and the music industry with many people finding the courage and strength to speak out.