Published Jun 12, 2020Earlier this month, the music industry participated in "Blackout Tuesday" — a day where they paused new releases and promotion to instead reflect on inequality and systemic racism in the midst of the Black Lives Matter uprising. Since then, a number of organizations have vowed to make real changes. Up next, licensing firm BMG will investigate inequalities in its own contracts.
According to Music Business Worldwide, the company has vowed to be "mindful of the music industry's shameful treatment of black artists."
BMG's CEO Hartwig Masuch did not mince words in a new statement. "Mindful of the music industry's record of shameful treatment of black artists, we have begun a review of all historic record contracts," he said. "While BMG only began operations in 2008, we have acquired many older catalogues. If there are any inequities or anomalies, we will create a plan to address them. Within 30 days."
He continued: "In common with many music companies, at BMG the reality is that black people are not as well represented as they are in the populations in which we operate. We are not as diverse as we could be. Despite numerous initiatives over the years, we have not made sufficient progress. We pledge to do so and will produce a plan to do so. Within 30 days.
"Racism and social injustice exists in all 12 countries in which we operate. We need to play our part in tackling it. Each BMG office will create a plan to do so. Within 30 days."
The message was sent out on June 9, meaning we can expect a meaningful followup from BMG in early July.