Singer Alanis Morissette has made an explosive claim about the music industry by saying that almost every woman in the industry has been assaulted, harassed, or raped.
Speaking with U.K. publication The Sunday Times, Morissette, who began her music career in the 1990s when she was just a teenager, talked about the need for “female rage” in the times we live in.
“Female rage gets such a bad rap, but it’s part of being human,” Morissette said. “Not punching someone in the face, but anger channeled into activism or — heaven forbid — raising your voice, or saying no, or protecting your kids, or being a feminist.”
Morissette, who claims to have suffered sexual abuse going back to the age of three, also chastised the stigma that women face for “waiting” to come forward with an allegation.
“First of all, they didn’t wait,” she said. “Second, they face the threat of losing their job, reputation, or not being believed. At best it’s swept under the rug, at worst you are admonished or fired.”
When it comes to the #MeToo movement’s influence on the music industry, Morissette made her most explosive claim, alleging that a majority of women have suffered abuse in one form or another.
“It hasn’t even begun in the music industry. Almost every woman in the music industry has been assaulted, harassed, raped. It’s ubiquitous — more in music, even, than film,” Morissette said, as reported by Variety. “What, sex, drugs and rock’n’roll? By definition it’s crass, sweaty, and aggressive. But it’s only a matter of time before it has its own explosion of stories.”
Alanis Morissette has previously been open about her own experiences with sexual assault. In 2018, she told Britain’s The Sun that children should learn about sexual abuse at a young age.
“I think healthy sexuality is not something we are taught in schools. Relational functionality is not being taught in homes and schools,” she said. “Pop culture in movies and dance floors presents sex in a very one-dimensional, power-playing way. There are many people addicted to sex, traumatised by sexual trauma, and experiencing the fallout of that for the rest of their lives.”
Indeed, of all the industries to get hit by #MeToo, the music industry seems to have the least amount of bombshell allegations against top industry figures. Other than Russell Simmons, and to some extent, R. Kelly and Michael Jackson, the industry avoided the kind of earth-shattering shakeups as seen by the film and fashion industries. Writing in Forbes this past January, Shannon Lee even wondered if the music industry would ever have its #MeToo moment.
“Despite a fickle reverence for Kesha, and other pop stars that share their experience of sexual assault, the American public has shown little interest in holding high-profile sex criminals in the music industry accountable,” wrote Lee. “R. Kelly retains a loyal fan base, and rapper and convicted child rapist Tekashi 6ix9ine just signed a new $10M record deal while serving time for racketeering. But, will new rape allegations spark an outpouring of testimonies from other survivors — emboldened by the Me Too Movement years after it caught fire — forcing us to finally pay attention?”
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