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BMG Commits to Review of Historic Contracts, Diversity Shakeup In Pledge Against Racism

In the wake of international protests against the death of George Floyd and other Black men and women at the hand of police officers, BMG has committed to action. And timeframes.

One week on from “Black Out Tuesday,” BMG has set out its stance on racism and inequality.

The music company circulated a message to thousands of its artists and songwriters with a pledge: “We need to play our part in addressing historical injustices inflicted on black people.”

Mindful of the music industry’s “record of shameful treatment of black artists,” the message reads, “we have begun a review of all historic record contracts. If any inequities or anomalies are found, BMG will create a plan to address them within 30 days.”

BMG also promises to address diversity within its workplace. “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,” the statement reads.

“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,” adds BMG. Again, action is expected within 30 days. The clock is ticking.

BMG distributed its assurances via a pop-up message on its myBMG app, originally designed as a royalties portal. Today, it’s evolved into a communication platform between BMG and its 1,000-plus clients, and has been used on at least two occasions of late to share information on the coronavirus.

Led by its CEO Hartwig Masuch, BMG opened for business on Oct. 1 2008, and has worked on releases for hundreds of artists including Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley, Iron Maiden, Tame Impala, Cypress Hill, Ringo Starr and many more.

Read BMG’s message on racism in full below.

Black Out Tuesday: One Week On

We are determined that last week’s action is more than a black square in a social media post or a series of slogans.

We need to play our part in addressing historical injustices inflicted on black people.

Last Wednesday we embarked on a journey designed to make lasting change.

We know we cannot change the world by ourselves, but we are determined to change our part of it. For the better.

Mindful of the music industry’s record of shameful treatment of black artists, we have begun a review of all historic record contracts. 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.

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.

Blackout Tuesday was an important moment of reflection. The real test for us all is now to come up with a credible plan for change.

We are committed to do so.

#BlackLivesMatter

Your BMG Team

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