NAO, Years & Years and Rita Ora among hundreds of British stars pledging to combat racism, homophobia and transphobia in music industry

British stars unite to combat racism and homophobia in music industry

Years & Years, NAO and Rita Ora are among hundreds of stars who are “proudly uniting” to combat systemic racism, homophobia and transphobia in the UK music industry.

Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall, Chic’s Nile Rogers, Ella Eyre, Jessie Ware and The 1975 are among the 700 artists who have signed an open letter pledging to “combat hate”.

“We are at our worst when we attack one another,” says the open letter, which is signed by artists, managers, record-company executives, songwriters, producers and agencies.

Citing instances of recent “anti-Jewish racism”, after Wiley shared anti-Semitic posts, as well as systemic racism, homophobia, transphobia, islamophobia and xenophobia, the signatories said they “stand together” and want to “wipe out racism”.

Ed Sheeran’s manager, Stuart Camp, and Stevie Wonder’s manager, Keith Harris, have also signed the letter, along with the president of EMI and labels such as Universal Music UK, Warner Music UK and Sony Music UK.

The letter says: “We, representatives from the music industry, write to demonstrate and express our determination, that love, unity and friendship, not division and hatred, must and will always be our common cause.

“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.

“Whether it be systemic racism and racial inequality highlighted by continued police brutality in America or anti-Jewish racism promulgated through online attacks, the result is the same: suspicion, hatred and division.

“We are at our worst when we attack one another.

“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.”