Artists demand #MeToo moment in Minnesota music

Updated: June 26, 10:33 p.m.

Several musicians in Minnesota are calling out what they say is a culture of sexual harassment and abuse in the Twin Cities music scene. In recent days, they have used social media to compile names and stories of harassment they have endured.

In response to the public outcry, Rhymesayers Entertainment has ended its working relationship with two music acts; Prof and Dem Atlas. The independent hip-hop music label stated: “We also need to hold ourselves accountable for writing off what we interpreted as an artist’s approach to humor and entertainment, when it actually harmed survivors and perpetuated an environment rife with misogyny.”

On her Instagram page, Twin Cities musician Lydia Liza asked musicians to describe abuse by male musicians and others involved in the music scene. Dozens of people named musicians, managers and DJs as abusers. Some instances go back to when they were in high school.

One anonymous claim has apparently prompted Minnesota Public Radio to look into allegations against one of its own staff, a host on The Current.

A spokesperson for MPR responded to a request for comment by saying the company has been made aware of an allegation involving an employee and is seeking facts. The statement said because it is a personnel matter, MPR could not provide additional information at this time.

Editor's note: MPR News last fall began interviewing people and gathering information on allegations brought to us of abuse and misogyny within the Twin Cities music scene. This work takes time, diligence and a thorough examination of facts during the reporting process. This week, several people called out MPR News on social media demanding to know what happened to our reporting. While we do not routinely discuss reporting until we have published and aired our reports, we are making an exception: We paused our reporting in February, in part to direct staff to breaking news stories. We remain committed to continue reporting on the culture of the Twin Cities arts scene.

Correction (June 26, 2020): An earlier version of this article and headline used language that excluded those who do not identify as female who also shared their experiences. This story has been updated.

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