Rebecca Ferguson calls for an end to the exploitation of young musical artists | Music | Entertainment


Rebecca Ferguson, a Liverpool-born X-Factor star, rocked the industry last week with her “enough is enough” statement. She wants MPs to investigate the welfare of musicians and push for regulation of the industry so that individuals can “never become so powerful that their actions go unpunished”. The singer wants managers and agents to have an operating license and to be brought to justice if they mistreat staff or artists. Another goal is the appointment of an ombudsperson for the creative industries. Ms Ferguson will meet shortly with Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, who said it was essential for artists to feel “safe” and “determined to resolve this issue”.

Shadow Culture Secretary Jo Stevens agreed that a “rotten culture” must end.

She said: “For too long, the power imbalances involved in the music industry have meant that artists and others have had to tolerate behaviors that shouldn’t occur in a work environment, in order to get along. . What Rebecca Ferguson and others have described going through is absolutely unacceptable.

“It’s about changing a rotten culture and making sure that people, whatever their jobs, are treated with respect.”

Alex Davies-Jones, MP for Pontypridd and member of the digital, culture, media and sports committee, also wants to protect artists from predators.

She said: “As a musician and music lover, I have been horrified by the stories of bullying and abuse in the music industry that have been shared on social media over the past few days.

“We all need to do more to protect artists, whether they are just starting out or in their careers, and I am extremely concerned that recent stories are only scratching the surface of what is a much larger problem.

“The well-being of artists should be at the forefront of the industry, and I will do everything possible to support artists who courageously speak out and share their stories.”

The multi-stakeholder committee has already shown that it is ready to scrutinize the music industry.

Another Cardiff West member and MP Kevin Brennan, who plays with parliamentary rock band MP4, said: treated fairly in the age of Spotify and other similar services. When the committee adopts its findings, it will issue a report with its recommendations. “

An X Factor spokesperson said, “The duty of care to our competitors is of the utmost importance to us. We take wellness very seriously and have measures in place to make sure it is taken care of. “

A UK Music spokesperson said: “UK Music takes the issue of sexual harassment and abuse very seriously. We are committed to making the music industry a safe and welcoming environment for the 200,000 people who work in our industry.

“UK Music promotes best practice in the industry and we support the work of our Musicians’ Union members and their Safe Space program which helps people who have been victims of harassment or abuse.

“It is open to anyone working in the music industry to confidentially report harassment and sexual abuse to experienced people who can help.

“We have adhered to the MU and Incorporated Society of Musicians Code of Practice, which aims to end bullying, harassment and discrimination in the industry and promote a positive work culture.

“We want the UK music industry to continue to dominate the world and that includes leading the way in the fight against sexual abuse and harassment.”