Charlotte Church attacks 'sexist' music industry

 
Charlotte Church Charlotte Church said "lurid" stars were having a bad influence on young fans

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The music industry has a "culture of demeaning women" that forces stars to sell themselves as sex objects, according to singer Charlotte Church.

Church said she was "pressurised" into wearing revealing outfits in videos by male executives when she was 19 or 20.

Now 27, the star said young female artists were routinely "coerced into sexually demonstrative behaviour in order to hold on to their careers".

She made her comments during BBC 6 Music's annual John Peel Lecture.

Her stinging attack on sexism in the music industry comes amid a heated debate over the sexual imagery used by pop stars like Miley Cyrus and Rihanna.

The music business is "a male dominated industry with a juvenile perspective on gender and sexuality" and increasingly wants "sex objects that appear child-like", Church claimed.

The star accused record labels of encouraging young singers "to present themselves as hypersexualised, unrealistic, cartoonish, as objects, reducing female sexuality to a prize you can win".

She continued: "When I was 19 or 20 I found myself in this position, being pressurised into wearing more and more revealing outfits.

"The lines that I had spun at me again and again - generally by middle-aged men - were: 'You look great, you've got a great body, why not show it off?'

"Or: 'Don't worry, it will look classy, it will look artistic.' I felt deeply uncomfortable about the whole thing, but I was often reminded by record label executives just whose money was being spent."

She recalled feeling "massively uncomfortable" about dancing suggestively in little more than a basque and knee-high boots in the video for her single Call My Name in 2005.

Charlotte Church in 2005 Church said she had felt "massively uncomfortable" about being asked to wear revealing outfits

"Whilst I can't defer all blame away from myself, I was barely out of my teenage years and the consequence of this portrayal of me is that now I'm frequently abused on social media, being called slut, whore and a catalogue of other indignities," she said.

"Now I find it difficult to promote my music in the places it would be best suited because of my history."

She particularly criticised Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and Robin Thicke.

Cyrus's routine at the MTV Awards last month, in which she danced provocatively with Thicke and made suggestive gestures with a foam finger, sparked a furore over whether she had gone too far.

Sinead O'Connor wrote an open letter to the pop star, warning her not to be exploited by the music business.

Church also accused video websites of doing too little to prevent young viewers from being able to see explicit videos, and supported Annie Lennox's recent call to give pop videos film-style age ratings.

In her speech, delivered at the Radio Festival at The Lowry in Salford, Church added that radio stations should consider dropping singles by artists whose images were too risque.

Rihanna, Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus Rihanna, Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus have been criticised for risque routines

She said: "As Tony Hall, the BBC's director general, announces the new iPlayer channel for Radio 1, the question must be asked - should programmers take into consideration the image of an artist when deciding whether to play and promote their music?

"There are countless examples from the last few years of songs that have been in high rotation, that have little to no artistic worth, but are just plain rude."

BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour broadcast a special live edition on Saturday, dedicated to women in music, to mark the lecture.

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 816.

    I am sure that it is only a matter of time before we get similar videos by gay stars. Electric 6 anyone?

  • Comment number 815.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 814.

    As a father who's daughter recently was a fan of Miley Cyrus, I have become more attuned to the problems in shielding my child from sexual overtones before she is mature enough to understand exactly what sex is. People who accuse Charlotte Church of hypocrisy perhaps don't understand that as we grow older, our perspectives change. She has experienced it first-hand so to dismiss her views is silly.

  • Comment number 813.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 812.

    Everyone knows the music industry likes to get its female stars to show a bit of flesh and cleavage,common knowledge.
    What I don't get is why she is bitching about it. If she didn't like it then just refuse to do it. No one made her do it and I have no sympathy for her. She had a choice,use her body to promote her work, or use her talent to promote her work.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 811.

    804. DeeplyConcerned
    He's (happily?) married to Paula Patton who I'm sure wasn't impressed at watching her husband's crutch so close to Ms Cyrus... but sex sells
    ///////
    She seems to happily support his claims regarding his endowment and he appears to be playing the game rather than being played. Seems a smart guy who may have picked up a trick or 2 from his parents. And Marvin Gaye.

  • Comment number 810.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 809.

    806. Ernie
    Not that you can see, but they generally got upvotes from me.
    ////////
    Feeling quite uncomfortable now.

    When Kylie did "Can't get you out of my head" you felt it was a grown up woman knowing what she was doing. The grown up men lusting after Britney in "Oops..." were quite is disturbing and I guess that's when this gap in the market was discovered and quietly accepted... Kerching!

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 808.

    804. DeeplyConcerned
    How do you know he wasn't incredibly embarrassed at having to simulate a sex act on stage being shown to millions of impressionable young minds across the world?
    ///////
    Did you not see the smile on his face?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 807.

    Pointing out the bleeding obvious shows a lack of intelligence. Charlotte, did you honestly think you were popular for a dilligently acquired ability? Being pretty is a genetic issue, you were merely lucky, in the same way that rugby players are genetically big and jockeys are gentically small. Being vapid and vaucous doesn't mean you can demand respect.You are over the hill - deal with it!

  • Comment number 806.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 805.

    Funny how Charlotte Church et al didn’t complain at the time and only find this unacceptable now they are no longer receiving similar offers... male or female, if you've got it, why not flaunt & capitalised on it?!

    I'm all for freedom of expression, but having said that I do think we parents need to think very seriously about our responsibility to protect our young kids' precious innocence.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 804.

    @801. How do you know?

    How do you know he wasn't incredibly embarrassed at having to simulate a sex act on stage being shown to millions of impressionable young minds across the world?

    He's (happily?) married to Paula Patton who I'm sure wasn't impressed at watching her husband's crutch so close to Ms Cyrus... but sex sells

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 803.

    800. Ernie
    I'm pretty sure anyone else reading has seen your repeated appeals for sexy gay videos by now Phil!
    ///////
    Maybe, but they definitely weren't as keen to comment on them as you are. You claim to have been in stitches, yet your comments on them were quite serious. Something doesn't add up. Hmmm.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 802.

    I remember a time (long ago) when I made the decision to stop watching Blue Peter when Zoe Salmon was presenting. Not because I found her inappropriate, it's just that self gratification & kids TV is very wrong.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 801.

    797. musictechguy
    No. Male and female pop stars are treated like objects, not just women. Both are under pressure to take their clothes off.
    //////
    Robin Thicke isn't.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 800.

    @794. Philip Jennings "Why are you using the royal "we" when speaking for yourself?"

    I'm pretty sure anyone else reading has seen your repeated appeals for sexy gay videos by now Phil!

    "Also, why do you keep on stalking me?"

    As I mentioned in a now removed post, I find you funny. Some of your comments about sexy gay videos have had me in stitches. (And no, not curious, you should be so lucky!)

  • Comment number 799.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 798.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 797.

    "culture of demeaning women"

    No. Male and female pop stars are treated like objects, not just women. Both are under pressure to take their clothes off.

 

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