Racism Rife in UK Music Industry, Study Finds


Black music creators in the United Kingdom face widespread racism, with 63 percent having experienced direct or indirect racism, according to a new survey of 1,718 performers, creatives, and industry staff. Asked if they had experienced microaggressions, the figure rose to 71 percent. Instances of racism ranged from “jokes about skin colour” to being typecast as an R&B artist, according to responses to the first-of-its-kind study, which was conducted by Black Lives in Music and reported by The Guardian.

The report also explored the intersection between racism, music industry conditions, and mental health: Among Black music creators, 31 percent of respondents say the industry had sent their mental wellbeing into decline, and when narrowed to Black women, the figure rose to 42 percent. White creators, who comprised a minority of respondents, also reported industry-related problems with mental health.

After industrywide performances of anti-racism such as Blackout Tuesday, various labels and organizations pledged grants, mentorships, and charitable donations, The Guardian notes, but 75% of Black creators reported dissatisfaction with the support they received.

“The data clearly shows change is needed across the entire music ecosystem, from grassroots education all the way up to record labels,” Charisse Beaumont, chief executive of Black Lives in Music, told The Guardian. “I hope this report provokes change in the way we do our music business, which has greatly profited from Black talent.”

Find the full report at Black Lives in Music.

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