The open letter from the founder of Mobos highlights the racism in the music industry uk | music

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Kanya King, the founder of Music of Black Origin Awards (Mobos), has stated that negative media coverage has almost put an end to the event, in an open letter to large-scale calls to the racism in the music industry british “is no longer swept by a” red carpet “.King, who founded the Mobos in 1996, has sent the letter to the secretary of Culture, Oliver Dowden, and told the Guardian that the award ceremony could very easily “not be in the business,” after incorrect reporting on the event have made the sponsors are reluctant to associate with. .

King said that after an incident in a house of the disks after the Mobos, 2002, press articles, including a story in the sun with the title “The stars are fleeing the riot at the awards evening” – led her to rearrange her home in order to avoid the collapse of the Mobos when the sponsors backed out.

“In the article, there was the issue of firearms and stabbings, but none of this had to do with our event,” wrote King. “Although our program has been very well received, the perception of the general public and business partners changed after that… we were on the verge of sinking and I had to réhypothéquer my house again to invest more in the company so that it continues.”

King said that she felt satisfied after the show of 2002, and then woke up with of the securities to be negative. “I remember being in shock. I didn’t really account of the ramifications for us as an organization. Companies, brands, nobody wanted to talk to us. ”

In the letter, King said that artists who have won awards Mobo are often referred to as a winner past that if they are “problems” and that the media will erase all of their successful Mobo if they have also won, or been nominated. for a Brit Award.

King – who has received an MBE in 1999 and has been listed on the Woman’s Hour 2013 BBC Radio 4 of the british women powerful – said that it had been excluded from previous attempts of the music industry to fight against inequality and wanted to see decisive action.

She said: “I have heard of the organizations of the music industry to tell me:” We want to do more surveys or more reports. “I’m tired of all these reports. I just want to see some of the action. This is what I want to see. The question that I am asked is: “What should I do? What do I need to prove to obtain a place at the table? “”

The founder of Mobo said that the industry was to involve enterprises, institutions and the black communities, which has nurtured the talent, but was then excluded from the ” financial rewards that have generated billions of dollars in the United Kingdom and in the world economies and helped create entire industries “. She also called for more senior black and minority ethnic backgrounds and the music industry to investigate and close the pay gap between ethnic groups.

King said the demonstrations are in progress on Black Lives Matter had created a moment where the music industry could change, but said that she had found the promises of support from record labels as hypocrites. “I think it is quite infuriating to read some of the ads or promises and declarations of solidarity when our previous calls have fallen on deaf ears”, she said.

“I am proud of what we’ve been able to do and the lives that we have been able to change for the better. But imagine what we could have done more if we had not been selected and excluded?

“We’ve been fighting for over 25 years, I have dedicated my life to defending the music and the culture black. I have contacted many people and sent ideas and suggestions. Over the years, there have been promises, initiatives, new beginnings and promises. But for me, they were just empty words. ”

King said that the open letter, subtitled “An inconvenient truth”, was the most difficult she has ever felt compelled to write and she described her experiences growing up in Britain.

She said that her brother had persistent health problems and had only just left his house after having been the victim of racial violence as he watched a football match. His sister has started wearing foundations lighter after having been the victim of discrimination at work. “It is traumatic to see so many people you care about have high hopes and lost dreams”, she writes.

A spokesman for the Department of digital media, the culture, media and sport said: “We agree that people of all walks of life should have the opportunity to build successful careers in the creative industries. We recognize how important it is that the labour force in the music industry and the creative sector in the broad sense reflects the diversity of our society in the Uk and we are committed to working with these industries to ensure that all have equal access to opportunities. “

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