This past week has seen the radio world struggle not only with the moral debate over whether or not to broadcast Canadian band Hedley following allegations of sexual assault. But there has also been a recent decision regarding older songs.
The issue of whether or not broadcasters should play a song, or remove or ban that song is not something easily addressed. Bell, Corus and the CBC each banned Hedley. We know that there are community radio stations who also took this step.
This story in FYI music, which lifts an editorial from the Winnipeg Free Press asks why Heldey has been singled out, and not Kanye, Bobby Brown, Motley Crew, or Chris Brown. This Editorial does not reflect the fact that in Community radio our programmers and station management have had the same debate each time an artist is disgraced. I know of many people in community radio who boycotted playing Chris Brown.
Has a moral line been drawn in the sand?
Is it the case that now it's #TimesUp for providing a platform for sexual violence perpetrators?
According to a new decision by the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council, the answer to that question might be yes. In a complaint presented against Sirius XM regarding a 1958 song that used language degraded and discriminatory to Indigenous women, they noted in their decision the "Panel’s view is that age alone will not “save” a challenged song but the Panel does acknowledge that it is one of the factors to consider".
Do we need Context Warnings?
The NCRA/ANREC is about to launch our digital distribution system. We will be inviting all of our members to comment on the tracks or artists they like, to build up a culture of review for content added. But given the modernizing morality does the NCRA/ANREC need to explore offering Context Warnings on certain bands or artists?
Tell us what you think!
We were discussing this earlier today at Riot Radio after seeing the release of the bands statements today. We have had a number of student hosts still include Hedley songs in their playlists over the past couple of weeks but were thinking as a College Student Association service and student run visual station we should have a serious conversation about whether we continue to allow Hedley music played or if we put in place a ban as well.
Would love to hear what others think?
Hello Madeline and NCRA/ANREC Members
I want to apologize for not striking the correct tone in my email. And you are correct that my decision to include a graphic I believed would liven the topic, only served to cheapen it.
Sexual Harassment is something that I personally take very seriously. It is also an area that I've been working on with our NCRA/ANREC and Equity Committee for our NCRC to ensure that it is at the forefront of our conversations moving forward.
We are about to release the Membership Priority Survey where we specifically ask what policies you may have in place at your station, and our hope here is to be a help by either sharing great policies or drawing best practices from examples such as the one at CITR-FM.
This is a difficult topic in its entirety. And a topic that needs to be addressed with respect and sensitivity.
This Idea Thursday was intended to address the specific element of whether or not stations have banned artists such as Hedley or R Kelly as a result of accusations or convictions. I have no doubt that our members, and the office, believe the women.
Community radio is a privilege. It is a platform for our communities, what, and most importantly, who we provide that platform to is of the utmost importance. I personally do not believe the platform of community radio should be provided to the perpetrators of sexual violence.
As a survivor of assault, of being insulted and degraded by men most of my life. I'm getting totally discussed with all this attention to alleged sexual assault allegations. I have to work every day with someone who assaulted me, in a professional capacity, and I do so brilliantly.
What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty? There are always two sides to every story? That the truth lies somewhere in between?
So a guy asks for a blow job, your not required to give it to him. Oh a man whistles while you walk down a street, boo hoo. A man stares at your chest instead of your eye? Really. Oh your in and out of his house to the point your in his kitchen digging through his cupboard looking for your dishes and he kisses you, mmm maybe he though their was more to the relationship that's mighty personal.
If a listener wishes to hear a song I generally play it. Do I agree with the conduct of everyone, no. We don't play music with vulgar profanity, but with each song you have to make assessment how are they using the word.
I detest the word bitch when used to insult a woman, yet we have songs were women are taking it as a flag of honour and empowerment.
The word ass when describing a persons behaviour yes that's is vulgar, yet there are songs using it like this, "sit their ass down, grown ass man" just a few of the lyrics I've heard.
There are songs that the artist uses the word niger to mean friend, brother and being black they don't seem to find it offensive to use the word, yet everyone gets all up in arms if someone not black uses it. One of my On air Personalities refuses to play those songs, he finds it on line with calling someone a Big Lazy Drunk Indian.
Being Native North American, First Nations, Aboriginal, what ever the politically correct term is today, I don't allow others to stereotype me, I never have. I don't allow them to put me in those suffocating box telling me who and what I am. I define that.
I take each person as they are, I don't brush all of them with same brush because of one person's behaviour. Some songs have power and meaning that is taken outta context by the listener and where their state of mind is. Meanings get implied that were never there.
If you chose to ban a band or artist that is the choice you make. This judge and destroy because of one persons alleged bad behaviour is the same as the witch trials and they were rigged for one persons financial gain.