An Important Message from the Music Industry: ‘Don’t Be That Guy’
05.08.2020

An Important Message from the Music Industry: ‘Don’t Be That Guy’

Words by Jessica Magtalas

Under the broad directive of 'Don’t Be That Guy', and alongside the Australian music industry, the Music Industry Collaborative Commitment tool has been launched.

Signifying another setback for the industry, incidents related to the sexual assault and harassment of women within the Australian music industry have surfaced over past weeks, as recent cases have indicated yet again that the safety within the music scene is not up to standard.

A new tool and resource to be used at the one-on-one meeting level under the directive of “Don’t Be That Guy”, the Commitment is widely adopted when preparing writing or recording sessions, photoshoots, rehearsals and other kinds of meetings.

These procedures will be actioned in order to put respect and safety on the agenda, as well as provide some guidelines on appropriate behaviour. With the complete goal of creating a safe environment before all parties meet.

With the presence of systemic and harmful power imbalances within the music industry, the resource is an acknowledgement to these prevalent issues.

It incorporates thorough commitment to help create change and a common-sense approach that establishes a platform for respect and safety, whilst outlining issues and sensitivities for those who are unaware.

Covering issues such as discrimination, harassment, and abuse related to gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age, ability, and minority status, the tool aids in settling a safe confident environment.

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*PLEASE READ AND SHARE* Over the last few weeks the Australian music industry has once again been rocked by incidents of sexual assault and harassment. There are systemic and harmful power imbalances within our community – and discrimination, abuse, and harassment still persist across gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age, ability, and the full spectrum of ‘other’. . If you are an artist, or work with artists, use this resource when booking photoshoots, writing sessions, rehearsals, or any kind of meeting. And know that MANY others are using it as well, including ourselves. . SHARE THE LINK when organising your collaboration, and put respect and safety on the agenda BEFORE you meet. Read more at dontbethatguy.com.au and at the link in bio. #dontbethatguy

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“In a matter of mere days, we’ve received overwhelming support for the Commitment. It’s a shame that we even need something like this, but this is an industry that is committed to change,” Mick Walsh, a Sydney-based artist manager, and cofounder of the Music Industry Collaborative Commitment said.

Referring to the campaign title, ‘Don’t Be That Guy’ he added, “We’ve made a conscious decision to use the word ‘guy’ in this context. This is largely a men’s issue, and we’d be remiss not to acknowledge that.”

Inclusivity in mind, the Commitment was developed through expert consultations that included representatives of the POC, First Nations, LGBTQI, transgender, women and different ages.

“This is inclusive, and it’s backed by our music industry community,” says Poppy Reid, Managing Editor at The Brag Media and co-founder of the Commitment.

“As a whole we are now offering both a resource for meetings and gatherings, and a commitment to respect our peers. We’re all aware change is needed. We’re all aware change is coming. I just hope this plays a part in that.”

The Music Industry Collaborative Commitment is currently supported and in use by organisations such as AIR, BMG, Downtown Music Publishing, UNIFIED Music Group, MGM, Eleven Music, Mirror Music, I OH YOU, Vita Artists, Cooking Vinyl, Space44, Beehive PR, Deathproof PR, Bossy Music, The PR Files, Musiio, ArowAgency, The Music Network, The Brag Media. With more to come.

With that, the newly launched resource aims to be a basis for other organisations and a helpful use to artists, in means of bringing ample security and confidence in entering collaborative situations.

For businesses and individuals, it is encourage that their names be added in support through the from at dontbethatguy.com.au