More than 700 artists, managers and companies in the U.K. music industry, including the likes of The 1975 and Jessie Ware, have signed an open letter calling for a united fight to eradicate racism in the music business and beyond.
The lengthy list of signatories counts more than 150 industry trade bodies, record labels and other music companies, including the U.K. outposts of all three major record labels (Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Group) alongside Beggars Group, the Music Managers Forum and the Association of Independent Music.
“All forms of racism have the same roots — ignorance, lack of education and scapegoating,” the letter reads. “We, the British music industry are proudly uniting to amplify our voices, to take responsibility, to speak out and stand together in solidarity. Silence is not an option.”
The letter, which is accompanied by the hashtag #NoSilenceInMusic, comes in response to police killings of Black Americans which have spurred Black Lives Matter protests across the globe, along with a recent wave of anti-Semitic hate incidents in the U.K., a press release states. Top-tier executives have also signed on, including Skepta manager Grace Ladoja, Downtown Music Holdings U.K. executive vp Roberto Neri, Warner Chappell Publishing co-chair/CEO Guy Moot, Island Records U.K. president Louis Bloom and EMI president Rebecca Allen.
On the artist end, Jessie Ware, James Arthur, Rita Ora, The 1975, Nile Rodgers, Lewis Capaldi, MNEK, Mabel, Jess Glynne, Niall Horan, James Blunt and nearly 200 others have added their names to the list.
Read the letter in full below, and view the full list of signatories here.
We, representatives from the music industry, write to demonstrate and express our determination, that love, unity and friendship, not division and hatred, must and will always be our common cause.
In recent months through a series of events and incidents, the anti-black racists and antisemites, plus those who advocate islamophobia, xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia, have repeatedly demonstrated that they clearly want us all to fail. Whether it be systemic racism and racial inequality highlighted by continued police brutality in America or anti-Jewish racism promulgated through online attacks, the result is the same: suspicion, hatred and division. We are at our worst when we attack one another.
Minorities from all backgrounds and faiths have struggled and suffered. From slavery to the Holocaust we have painful collective memories. All forms of racism have the same roots – ignorance, lack of education and scapegoating. We, the British music industry are proudly uniting to amplify our voices, to take responsibility, to speak out and stand together in solidarity. Silence is not an option.
There is a global love for music, irrespective of race, religion, sexuality and gender. Music brings joy and hope and connects us all. Through music, education and empathy we can find unity. We stand together, to educate and wipe out racism now and for our future generations.