Hollywood is far from the only place that's rife with claims of sexual misconduct. A new open letter, signed by almost 2,000 women, details alleged sexual abuse in Sweden's music industry. Robyn, Tove Lo, Zara Larsson, and The Cardigans' Nina Persson are among the artists who signed the letter.
"In the music industry, we work around the clock, often with unsafe and temporary employment. Being courteous and not worrying becomes extra important in order not to be [fired]," the letter states. "This makes women in the music industry targets for [interactions] that are often of a sexual nature. We live in a life where the law of consent is still far away, where we are objectified and where sexual abuse and harassment are more common than [not]."
In addition to artists, managers and CEOs within the music industry have signed the letter. It was first published in Sweden's Dagens Nyheter newspaper, Billboard notes. When it was published, the open letter had 1,993 signatures.
The letter includes accounts of sexual harassment, as well as rape and sexual assault. It also encourages that there be consequences for sexual abuse. The letter requests "zero tolerance against sexual exploitation and violence. Sexual abuse or violence should have consequences [such as termination of employment]."
"Musicians in the music industry — it is your responsibility to ensure that no one is sexually [harassed in] the workplace. We will support all the stories we have shared with and have learned. We will continue to listen to each other and support each other. We will lay the shame where it belongs — with the perpetrator and those who protect him," the letter reads. "We speak with one voice and will not comment on the content of this article. A no is a no — respect it! We know who you are."
The country's leading three music labels — Sony Music Entertainment Sweden, Universal Music Group Sweden, and Warner Music — have all expressed support for the letter. The news is a powerful reminder that sexual misconduct and abuse isn't limited to one industry, or to the United States; it's something that affects people across the globe.
Hopefully, the open letter is the first step toward stopping sexual misconduct in Sweden's music industry. Almost 2,000 signatures means there are hundreds of people who've recognized the problem in their field. And while it's inspiring to see that many women coming together to effect change, it's also an indicator that it's time for us to find the solution.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).