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August 2, 2020 8:33 pm

700 Members of British Music Industry Sign Open Letter Vowing to ‘Wipe Out’ All Forms of Racism

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Rita Ora. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

More than 700 music industry leaders in the United Kingdom committed to combating racism in an open letter on Saturday that cited incidents of anti-Jewish bigotry.

The open letter, titled “#NoSilenceInMusic,” stated that “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.”

The letter referenced “systemic racism and racial inequality” and “anti-Jewish racism promulgated through online attacks,” saying, “the result is the same: suspicion, hatred and division. We are at our worst when we attack one another.”

The letter was signed by musicians, managers, top music industry executives, agents, labels, lawyers, songwriters, producers and others. Artists who endorsed the open letter include Rita Ora, James Blunt, The 1975, Lewis Capaldi, Leona Lewis, Lily Allen, Niall Horan, Labrinth and Violet Skies. Among the major labels that attached their names to the statement are Sony Music, Warner Music, CAA, Universal Music Group, Island Records UK, Capitol, Domino, EMI Records, TaP Music, UTA and X-Ray Touring.

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The letter also stated: “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.”

The letter comes after British rapper Wiley had his Twitter account suspended and Facebook and Instagram accounts deactivated, following an antisemitic rant on social media.

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