The AlunaGeorge singer spoke candidly about the sexual assault she experienced, which highlighted a huge problem in the industry.
Earlier this week, Little Mix revealed that they were told to “flirt with men” while promoting their music in America. This came a few weeks after Taylor Swift expertly shut down a journalist’s question about “settling down at 30”. And just last year, Dua Lipa sid that women aren’t taken seriously in the industry because of insidious sexism.
All of this is proof that sexism is still rife in the music industry. But in a new interview, singer Aluna Francis has revealed just how bad things are.
Francis, who forms one half of electronic duo AlunaGeorge, told BBC podcast The Next Episode that she was sexually assaulted by an industry figure. He forced his hands into her underwear, undressed her and coerced her into performing oral sex, she said.
“It was like I was in a room with a completely different person,” Francis explained, without disclosing the perpetrator’s identity. “His behaviour went from nought to a hundred.”
“I was like, ‘All right mate, calm down. Take your hands out of my pants please’,” she continued.
“The last thing that was happening before I really got myself out of there is that he pinned me down and he’d taken his trousers down.”
The musician then said she had to “wrestle” her attacker, adding: “I thought that I was okay and I’m just so not.”
According to the podcast’s host Rebecca Taylor – who is also a music artist – Hollywood’s #MeToo movement “barely touched the music industry”. She has set up the podcast to share female musicians’ experiences, including her own after being sexually harassed by a record label boss.
Brit Awards nominee Chloe Howl also told the BBC podcast she was sexually harassed by someone who worked in the music industry. “It feels like it’s women who are having to crusade and educate people about the oppression that they suffer,” she added.
As Hollywood continues to see improvements in addressing it’s gender disparity and calling out sexism, voices like these could mean that the music industry is about to have its own movement.