UK Music has responded the government’s controversial race report.
The report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities was published in late March, following the Black Lives Matter protests last summer.
However, it has prompted widespread criticism after the study concluded that structural racism was no longer a concern.
UK Music has now issued its response. The trade is, of course, focused on the huge issue of racial inequality through the work of its Diversity Taskforce.
In a statement, UK Music said: “UK Music, its members and Diversity Taskforce are united in our determination to increase diversity, representation and inclusion in the music industry and tackle the racism and inequality that evidence and experience tell us exist. We are disappointed by the contents of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report. The report does not go far enough in recognising the extent of structural and systemic racism.
“There are missed opportunities in not making ethnic pay gap reporting a legal requirement. The report also missed the chance to adequately reflect the lived experience of ethnically diverse communities in the music industry and across society. We believe much more can and should urgently be done to tackle racism and boost diversity and inclusion.”
UK Music added: “We urge the government to act at speed to implement the Commission’s recommendations where those recommendations echo proposals made in previous reports on this subject. But the government must also go further in addressing the racial and structural inequalities that persist across society.
“Our industry also has much more to do, and we are taking steps on that journey with commitment and pace. UK Music’s Ten-Point Plan, developed by our Diversity Taskforce and published last year, sets out one clear way forward. The blueprint is already being implemented across the music industry.”
Paulette Long, vice chair of the UK Music Diversity Taskforce, said: “It was extremely important for UK Music, its members and the Diversity Taskforce to come together to release this statement, to state our position very clearly on the areas of the CRED Report that we felt let down by.
“Systemic racism really does exist in the UK, our diversity data evidences it. We need to properly acknowledge its existence, in the context of real lived experience of ethnic communities, in order to take action and respond by way of accountability and investment. To deny its existence is just not acceptable. As a creative sector, the music industry needs to do as much as it can to break down racism and systemic inequality and to do it at pace.”
Ammo Talwar, chair of the UK Music Diversity Taskforce, added: “The government’s CRED Report has made a major retrograde step and fundamentally misses the opportunity to tackle racism, inequity and injustice. The UK Music statement outlines these missed opportunities and urges the government to take concerted action to create real lasting change.
“The UK Music Diversity Taskforce has a clear delivery plan that we hope will lead the way for other organisations and other sectors to adopt, and make that step-change needed to truly represent and support the communities and audiences we serve. Our evidence and findings in the Diversity Report were clear - we have issues around systemic racism in the music industry and our Ten-point plan hopes to address some of these issues with metrics, but also with respect and values.”