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Music Industry Advocate Launches Safe Music Initiative

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An industry activist has launched a new initiative calling for major stakeholders to adopt or expand policies to combat sexual abuse in the workplace and in the recording studio, a move that follows a wave of sexual misconduct allegations against high profile artists and executives late last year.

Songwriter-advocate Tiffany Red and her organization the 100 Percenters first announced the Safe Music Business initiative in January, and she officially launched the program last week. With the initiative, Red is looking for the industry at large to sign the Safe Music Business Pledge, which includes five commitments: Keeping music creators and staff safe at work and in recording sessions, reporting sexual harassment, issuing a no tolerance policy on inappropriate language or attitudes in at the workplace or studio, creating a safe space for music creators and staff, and hiring safe space leadership.

Numerous organizations have signed the pledge, including trade and advocacy groups the Recording Academy, the National Music Publishers’ Association, the Songwriters of North America, She Is the Music and Industry Blackout, R&B record label Love Renaissance, and the performing rights organization BMI.

Still, as Red tells Rolling Stone, her focus remains on those who haven’t signed the pledge yet. As of this story’s publication, none of the major record labels or music companies have signed, nor have any recording studios.

“The process of collecting these signatures has been really challenging; most of the poeple I got responses from are people we were already collaborating with,” Red tells Rolling Stone. “It’s frustrating that it’s so challenging but also very telling. This is the most we’ve seen the #MeToo movement hit the music industry ever. You’d think in a time like now, where the Adult Survivors Act ripped through the business, there’d be more vocal support.”

Red, along with her 100 Percenters organization, has spent years advocating for accountability on sexual abuse in the industry, as well as for more equitable treatment and deals for songwriters. Late last year, Red published an open letter in Rolling Stone to corroborate sexual abuse claims her friend Cassie Ventura leveled against Sean “Diddy” Combs. (Combs has denied the allegations against Ventura and the two settled her suit a day after it was filed in November.)

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The Initiative’s launch comes amid the largest wave of sexual abuse allegations the music industry has faced in years. The Adult Survivors Act in New York waived the statute of limitations on sexual abuse claims for civil lawsuits, leading to newly surfaced claims against artists and executives including Sean “Diddy” Combs, Axl Rose, Steven Tyler, L.A. Reid and Ahmet Ertegun, among several others. A similar legislation out of California brought forward several claims like Paula Abdul’s suit against American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe, as well as other suits against Danny Elfman and Hipgnosis Songs executive Kenny MacPherson.

“We cannot continue to ignore these issues or prioritize corporate interests over the safety and well-being of human beings,” Red wrote in an open letter. “We owe it to ourselves, future generations of music creatives and professionals, and our industry’s integrity to do better and fight for the soul of music.”

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