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The music industry’s dark side exposed

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Sexual abuse and harassment is “endemic” in the music ..

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Sexual abuse and harassment is "endemic" in the music industry, with "dangerous men" abusing their power, the Victoria Derbyshire programme has been told. Some victims are now speaking out for the first time.

"Amy" was 15 when she was groomed by her music manager from one of the UK's largest music companies.

"I'd been writing songs since I was very young, and somebody emailed me and said he wanted to help me and manage me," she explains.

The singer-songwriter – whose name we have changed – began working with the man and soon had chart success, before everything went wrong.

"He told me that he was in love with me, and that if I didn't agree to be his girlfriend he would ruin my career.

"Over the next two years he continued to blackmail and threaten me to be in a relationship with him.

"He convinced me that I would be nothing without him and that if I told anyone, that success would go away."

The manager – who was still working in the industry – became more controlling as time went on, Amy says.

"He made a list of all the things I was and wasn't allowed to do.

"It had things like showing him more affection, talking to my friends and family less, and making sure he was the person I talked to most in my life."

Then, she says, he began to sexually assault her.

"I didn't want to survive any more, because it was just a horrible life.

"I thought 'I'm going to get a nine-to-five job and I'll be banned from the music industry, but I'd rather be banished from doing what I love than spend any more time with this man'.

"Being a musician is all I ever wanted and it was finally happening. It should've been the best time of my life, but it was actually the worst".

'One of the lucky ones'

Singer-songwriter Chloe Howl felt exploited by a number of men at the beginning of her career.

She was signed to a record label aged 16, and later nominated for a Brit Award.

"I did have somebody come on to me in pretty strong way," she explains. "He was a lot older than me and we were meant to be professionally working together.

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"He would drop me off at my hotel, and then text me to say, 'Why didn't you invite me in?'

"I remember one night he grabbed my bum and said something along the lines of, 'I feel like we'd have really good times in the sack.'"

Yet despite this sexual harassment, she describes herself as being "one of the lucky ones".

"I know girls who've been raped, and it's always a man in power and a girl on the rise who needs as much support as possible, whose career hasn't started yet.

"I know that there are men who are getting away with it. They are given this untouchable power."

'Sex slave'

"You'd be hard pressed to find a woman working in the industry today who's never been a victim of sexual harassment or abuse," says Yasmin Lajoie, a 29-year-old music manager who has waived her right to anonymity.

Frustrated by the abuse that she had seen and experienced in the industry, she started collecting others' stories of sexual misconduct.

"I expected stories of sexual harassment… but what I've actually received are stories of rape happening on company property, men insisting on oral sex from young women, men seriously assaulting women, raping them in apartments owned by major music companies."

The Victoria Derbyshire programme has spoken to many women who have been sexually harassed and assaulted but were too scared to share their stories, for fear they would never work in the industry again.

One woman who did decide to share her story, after 20 years, was Michelle de Vries.

After landing a job abroad for a major music company as a young woman, she says she was made to stay with an older, more senior colleague who would repeatedly assault her.

"He would walk into my room with no clothes on. He would masturbate in front of me and say, 'I know you really like it,'" she explains. "I felt like a sex slave.

"Then one day I was with a girl in the office and we were told to go and see him. So we went up to his office and he took out his penis and said, 'I want to have a threesome with you.'

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"We went to a lawyer and were categorically told that he had committed a serious crime. But the lawyer said, 'If you report this, you will never work in the industry again.'"

Michelle and her female colleague decided to resign.

She says the man is still working in the industry – which has added to her resolve to speak out.

"I thought I was a hangover of the 80s and 90s, but it's very clear that this behaviour is still going on and young women are being sexually assaulted, still, today."

For Yasmin, recent media revelations have not even scratched the surface.

"Sexual assault and abuse in the music industry is endemic," she says.

UK Music, which represents the industry, says it takes these issues seriously and promotes best practice across all areas of the industry.

Yasmin adds that she has "absolutely no doubt that there are people working in the industry today who should be in prison".

She says: "I am angry, and things need to change. There are so many amazing careers, it would be great to be able to encourage women to enter the industry without fear of assault, harassment and rape."

Watch the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme on weekdays between 09:00 and 11:00 on BBC Two and the BBC News channel.

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Big Brother will return next year on ITV2 and online

Big Brother, one of the original UK reality TV shows, will return to screens in 2023, years after being axed by both Channel 4 and later Channel 5.

The show, which launched careers of ITV presenter Alison Hammond and Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts, will be revived by ITV2 and new streaming platform ITVX.

A promotional video aired during the Love Island series finale on Monday evening.

Officials said the famous house will return with a “contemporary new look”.

The returning programme – which was originally on for 18 years – will see a cast of “carefully selected housemates from all walks of life” live together under strict surveillance for up to six weeks.

Similar to previous editions, the public will regularly vote contestants off in live evictions, as well as deciding on an overall cash prize winner.

“This refreshed, contemporary new series of Big Brother will contain all the familiar format points that kept viewers engaged and entertained the first time round, but with a brand new look and some additional twists that speak to today’s audience,” said Paul Mortimer, ITV2’s reality TV chief.

“We’re beyond excited to bring this iconic series to ITV2 and ITVX where it should especially engage with our younger viewers.”

The series, which takes its name from the all-seeing ruler in George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, first appeared on Channel 4 in 2000, and was won by Liverpudlian builder Craig Phillips.

It was influential, both as a public social experiment and also in creating a new form of celebrity, with normal people prepared to have their every waking (and sleeping) moment caught on camera and broadcast to the world.

Celebrity editions aired, featuring the likes of Katie Price, Gemma Collins and Mark Owen.

Despite its early success and influence, the National TV Award-winning programme soon found itself embroiled in controversy over reports of bullying, racism, fixing, and general toxic behaviour in the house, with complaints being made to both the police and Ofcom.

The show moved to Channel 5 in 2011 but was axed in 2018 amid a ratings slump. Channel 5 controller Ben Frow later said he had no regrets over the decision and that the media landscape had become “very crowded with reality shows”.

‘Jumping the shark’

Speaking on the BBC Sounds Podcast, Unreal: A Critical History of Reality TV, this summer, Big Brother’s creative director Philip Edgar-Jones said audiences “very clearly hated it” when producers intervened in the programme too much.

“We call it ‘jumping the shark’ in television, when you the hand of the producer is too overt and you feel like the show has therefore lost that sense of authenticity – that’s when the audience gets more angry.

“Being authentic to the show, you create this world with its own internal logic, and you can’t break that internal logic, otherwise you break the magic and you lose the trust of the audience.”

At the time, Big Brother producers said they were open to “future possibilities”, apparently leaving the door open for a return one day.

Irish singing duo Jedward, the identical twin brothers who twice appeared on the celebrity version of the show, have made an early bid online to host the returning series.

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Kim Kardashian ‘wasn’t planning on’ a relationship with Pete Davidson

Kim Kardashian did not see loe coming with Pete Davidson.

In a conversation for Hoda Kotb’s “Making Space” podcast, Kardashian explained that she’d been single for about 10 months before she was ready to date again.
“I think that, you know, sometimes things happen when you just least expect it. It was the last thing that I was really planning on,” she said, “And so when it did happen, we were kind of, like, ‘Oh, my God, I wasn’t planning on this. And this isn’t even what I was thinking of,’ and it just makes it that much sweeter and so much more fun.”
In February 2021, Kardashian filed for divorce from Kanye West.
Kardashian and Davidson appeared in a “Saturday Night Live” sketch together last fall where they shared a kiss. They became Instagram official in March.
“I definitely took my time,” Kardashian said. “I took, you know, 10 months or something before I dated or talked to anyone. And I just wanted that time to really figure out and go through the motions: ‘Am I making the right decision? How do I feel about this?’ So once I went through all of the motions, I finally was, like, ‘OK, guys, I am so ready to meet someone.’ And I randomly did.”
Despite their very public relationship. Kardashian says she is keeping some aspects of her time with Davidson private.
“I do think that I am holding, you know, a little bit more close to my heart on certain aspects of my relationship with Pete, and it feels good just to know that, like, we have this connection and we have our little bubble of a relationship world that we live in that, like, not a lot of people know about,” she said.
For now, Kardashian said just being with Davidson puts a smile on her face.
“We were driving in the car yesterday and I just, like, looked at him and I was like, ‘Thank you.’ And he was like, ‘What?’ And I was like, ‘For running errands with me, like, this is so much fun just to, like, go to a doctor’s appointment or go to the dentist and just, like, run errands. I’m having so much fun.'”
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007 film must treat Bond girls properly, says Waller-Bridge

Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those ele..

Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those elements is set for a change in the latest adventure.

Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is working on the script for the 25th Bond film, is on a mission to make sure the movie will "treat women properly" – even if the spy does not.

Image: Cast members (l-r): Lea Seydoux, Ana de Armas, Naomie Harris and Lashana Lynch at the launch of the new Bond film

Ahead of the release of the as-yet-untitled film, Waller-Bridge told Deadline: "There's been a lot of talk about whether or not (the Bond franchise) is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women.

"I think that's b*******. I think he's absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow.

"It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly.


"He doesn't have to. He needs to be true to this character."

Sean Connery and Mie Hama in You Only Live Twice, 1967
Image: The Bond films have been criticised for their sexism
Dr No turned Sean Connery into an international superstar
Image: Dr No featured the famous scene with Ursula Andress walking out of the sea in a white bikini

Waller-Bridge says she intends to ensure the female characters, including those played by Lashana Lynch, Lea Seydoux and Ana de Armas, feel "like real people ".

More from Phoebe Waller-bridge

She added: "I just want to make sure that when they get those pages through, that Lashana, Lea and Ana open them and go, 'I can't wait to do that'.

"As an actrRead More – Source (more…)

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