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Earlier this week, TMZ caught up with the Grammy-nominated DJ and producer in Los Angeles and asked if he believes there is enough equality among male and female DJs. Aoki didn’t hesitate.
“No. No, absolutely not,” he told the cameraman. “It’s unfortunate and needs to change, that’s for sure.”
When asked if he thought it would ever change, Aoki replied: “First of all, it has to change. Yeah, it’s gonna change,” he said. “I think promoters need to make a stand and book more female DJs.”
You can check out his statements below.
This isn't the first time Aoki has discussed inequality in his industry. During a recent interview with Channel 4 News, Aoki spoke about the lack of female representation within the DJ scene. He said one way to solve this issue is by men taking action by not only becoming an ally to their female counterparts, but by stepping aside and allowing women to take some of their opportunities.
“I think that one thing that male DJs have to do is also step aside to make room for women DJs and women producers on festivals, on shows,” he explained. “[…] It’s almost like the affirmative action stance where there’s not enough representation of women, so you have to ensure that there is representation. Maybe festivals need to take that affirmative action stance where it’s not just about booking the hottest acts, but you have to book from all ethnicities, you have to book from all gender groups.”
DJ Lady Faith responded to Aoki’s statements on Facebook, insisting the issue wasn’t about men refusing to step aside, but about women not receiving the exposure they deserve.
“I don’t believe that DJs need to step aside to make room for women. We have the skills, the talent, the passion and the drive to compete with any male,” she wrote. “What we really need are labels like yours, those who manage overall exposure to the fans, to start allocating more of that exposure to hard working female DJ/Producers who have dedicated their lives to this amazing industry […] Practice what you preach.”
Only time will tell whether or not this discourse will affect real change. But it's definitely a good place to start.