Founder and CEO of the MOBO Awards, Kanya King MBE has written a powerful open letter describing the issue of racism in the music industry as "the worst pandemic".
Published on the MOBOs site, the letter was addressed to Oliver Dowden CBE MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and details the many failures in the music industry and the many ways it has let down black artists, musicians, producers, songwriters and those working in music at every level.
The letter also urges senior figures in the industry to support United We Stand — a "celebratory" event, one to show meaningful solidarity. King also asks that the industry pledge support for Black Lives Matter, the Black Music Coalition, and other organisations, and urges Dowden to enact the changes put forward in the many race reports the government has commissioned yet failed to act on.
"The music industry, it is fair to say, could and should have dealt better with black artists, black-run companies and taken on more black executives," King writes, adding that "in many cases, the black businesses, institutions and communities that give rise to black expression and talented individuals have not been able to benefit or partake in the financial rewards that have driven billions to the UK and global economies and helped create entire industries."
The MOBOs shared a note on Twitter to let people know their intentions for this letter:
For many, the story of MOBO and the MOBO Awards is filled with glamour and bright lights….. it’s time for our journey and fight to be told, completely unfiltered. @KanyaKing— MOBO (@MOBOAwards) June 17, 2020
👉🏾 https://t.co/gQdDNHpDOL#BlackLivesMatter #UNITEDWESTAND pic.twitter.com/X10xRvVfFG
You can read the full thing here.