Since October, allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein have not only continued but have provoked stories of harassment to skyrocket across all trades, showing the problem isn’t just restricted to Hollywood.
As more and more men and women come forward as victims to assault outside the film industry, new light is being spread on politicians and, even more recently, hundreds of assertions are directly concerning the music industry.
With many of the accounts made being written and shared on social media, the accessibility and directness of these platforms mean that the circulation of some of the stories has been vast, reaching hundreds of fans across the globe, deeply affecting not only followers but artists and their management teams.
In many cases, the industry has been advising artists to keep quiet and not tackle allegations. The question is, are they further damaging artists’ reputations during the silence as fans lose confidence in their idols?
Southend-on-Sea’s rock band Nothing but Thieves recently faced an entire thread of allegations against several members of the band on Twitter. Canadian band July Talk (one of their two UK support acts) left their leg of the tour early and many followers felt more upset and were lead questioning the accusations further.
Currently promoting their sophomore album, disruption from these rumours led to Nothing but Thieves releasing an official statement a few days later, refuting all claims made against them despite the guidance given to simply ignore the surrounding gossip.
“We were advised not to address the false allegations, and give them unwarranted attention, but this has been so distressing and damaging, we can no longer sit idly by.
We want you to know we 100% deny any wrongdoing in the false allegations brought against us. We have the utmost respect for women and would never treat them in the ways that we have been accused of.”
Responses to the statement were positive, with trust reforming within the artist’s community.
Less positivity surrounds the allegations made against Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons, Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter, R. Kelly, US hard-core band Slaves, Brand New’s Jesse Lacey and Aussie band With Confidence – many of whom who have publically denied the claims but still have left many unconvinced.
Does the music industry believe ignorance is bliss? What is this the correct way to handle such sensitive assertions?
Words: Billie Roderick