Sexual Misconduct in the Music Industry

 Lately, many women and non-binary folks, have come out with allegations of sexual misconduct against prominent Indie Rock and Punk musicians. Over the summer, news broke of many bands and artists being accused of all kinds of sexual misconduct. Groups and artists  like the Growlers, the Buttertones, Cuco, Spendtime Palace, Summer Salt, and most notably the Oakland based band SWMRS. This has sent major waves throughout the indie music industry, and brought up the ways in which music labels enable and hide sexual misconduct by the groups signed to them. 

The Regrettes lead singer Lydia Night came out with allegations of sexual misconduct and predatory behavior against SWMRS drummer Joey Armstrong. 

 But sadly,  this isn’t anything new. 

The #MeToo movement was created in 2006 by Tarana Burke. She started the phrase MeToo to raise awareness of women who have been sexually abused. It is a movement against sexual harassment and misconduct. The movement encourages women to speak up about their experiences. The effects of the movement showed people how widespread sexual harassment/abuse is. More survivors spoke out and it encouraged others to speak out too.  More women in the music industry like Jessie Woo, Jessie Reyez, Lady Gaga, Kesha, etc. started speaking out about their own stories with similar experiences after the #MeToo movement rose to fame. 

Many women have been sexually harassed or abused by powerful men who hold the key to success. In 2019, it became known that popular R&B singer R. Kelly sexually abused women ages thirteen to seventeen. Kelly was accused of luring vulnerable women who were hoping to succeed in their musical careers. He was accused of sexually abusing four women, three of which were under-aged girls. Allegations against Kelly date back to 1998. To this day, he has pleaded not guilty to all ten counts of aggravated sexual abuse according to the Billboard article. Associates of R. Kelly like agents and security guards kept quiet about the abuse. 

Many more women have come forward with allegations against Ryan Adams, a Grammy-winning singer, and songwriter, as well. According to the victims, he would promise musical success in exchange for sexual favors. He was emotionally and verbally abusive as well. Actress and ex-wife Mandy Moore along with Phoebe Bridges came out allegations with sexual misconduct, emotional abuse, and manipulative behavior. After five months he came out talking about how he wasn’t a perfect man and made mistakes in the past. He also stated that the allegations are false and exaggerated stories. 

In the end, many musicians continue to deny the allegations against them, saying that all the rumors and stories are false. The #MeToo movement has made an impact on all women to speak out about their stories.