Published Jul 22, 2020Earlier this week, record label Burger Records was hit with an enormous amount of sexual misconduct allegations surrounding its artists and its staff. In response, the label issued an apology and announced plans to rebrand. Now, Burger has abandoned those plans and shut down entirely.
Label co-founder Lee Rickard had stepped down and Sean Bohrman had planned to stay on in a transitional capacity while new label head Jessa Zapor-Gray had signed on to take over the brand. A detailed press release suggested that it was rebranding the main label to be called BRGR RECS, with plans for an all-female sub label called BRGRRL. Now, however, the entire label has been shut down instead.
Zapor-Gray issued a statement last night (July 21) explaining that she no longer believed the Burger brand could be salvaged.
"My plan was to quickly begin assessing and evaluating if anything about the label could perhaps be salvaged and made into something better, then eventually hand off a functioning label to a future administration unrelated to the label's founders; or if I found that rebuilding was not possible, instead to organize and prepare the label for closure," she wrote.
"When I was asked to take over in this capacity, I expected some blowback for my decision to accept but I believed that the opportunity to have a role in effecting real and lasting positive change within the Burger and indie music scenes was worth the risk," she continued. "Upon further review, I have informed Burger Records that I no longer believe I will be able to achieve my intended goals in assuming the leadership role at Burger in the current climate. Therefore, I have decided to step away from the label entirely to focus on my other projects."
Pitchfork reached out to Bohrman, who said, "We decided to fold the label." When further asked if Burger planned to go ahead with BRGR RECS, he said, "Nope." Then, when asked for further comment, he linked to a video of Porky Pig saying, "That's all folks!"
The allegations against Burger and its artists were started by an Instagram account called @lured_by_burger_records. Some artists who were named on the account include members of SWMRS (specifically Billie Joe Armstrong's son Joey Armstrong), Black Lips, the Growlers, the Buttertones, Love Cop, Part Time, Gap Dream, Audacity, No Parents, Tomorrows Tulips and Cosmonauts.
SWMRS have since issued a statement, while the Growlers have done the same.
There are many stories that include artists and label reps being accused of everything from grooming and soliciting nude photos from minors to sexual misconduct in numerous forms, including rape.