Killer Mike calls music industry men to stand up to sexism in wake of harassment claims

Date

Jenny Noyes

Killer Mike of Run the Jewels performing at Lollapalooza Berlin music festival.

Killer Mike of Run the Jewels performing at Lollapalooza Berlin music festival. Photo: Jakubaszek

When Dirty Projectors frontwoman Amber Coffman tweeted on Monday that she'd been sexually harassed by a prominent music publicist at a bar in New York, it started the ball rolling - as these revelations increasingly seem to do - on a number of other female musicians opening up on their experiences of the same behaviour. 

The Dirty Projectors performing at Sydney Festival.

The Dirty Projectors performing at Sydney Festival.

Coffman made the point in her tweets that she had heard similar stories about the same guy from other women, and that she had decided to go public and name him because the complaints of other women had been routinely ignored by men in the industry, who continue to give him work.

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In the wake of these tweets and the stories from other women that followed, Heathcliff Berru was publicly dropped by a number of clients. A day later, he stood down as CEO of Life Or Death PR.

Hip hop artist Killer Mike was one of Berru's clients who cut ties with him after Coffman's revelations, and he's spoken out about giving Berru, who he still considers a friend, "an earful" about his "f--ked up" behaviour. 

He's also tweeted his support of Coffman, and spoken out about how men in the industry need to do more to fight sexism and support female artists and industry colleagues. 

Although he has cut ties with Berru professionally, the rapper made the point that Berru is still a friend of his, and one that he will support to deal with substance abuse and his attitudes towards women.

This public stance is a great example to men for how to deal with finding out their male friends and colleagues have been engaging in sexist and harassing behaviour. There needs to be consequences, support for the people who've been hurt, and encouragement of the individual responsible to change their attitudes and behaviour.