SXSW music panel takes on #MeToo, Time’s Up movements

A South by Southwest panel of powerful female artists takes on the groundbreaking and controversial anti-harassment movement in Hollywood.

The musicians say with no HR Department in their industry, it’s crucial that they back the Times Up and MeToo campaigns.

Costa Rican Rapper Nakury says her high-energy rhymes are written to empower women, but there was a time when she was afraid sexual harassment would cripple her career. 

“There was one guy that said to me that he was going to close every door to me,” Nakury said.

She believes that kind of manipulation is still happening to many other women in the music industry worldwide.

Nakury took her story to SXSW — where artists and executives looked at ways to add steam to the MeToo and Times Up movements — and show up-and-coming artists ways to defend themselves. 

“We have to know that we don’t deserve that. And, when we’re in that position we have all of our right to say no,” Nakury said.

Women performers say one of the biggest challenges is the lack of structure in the industry. When the workplace is a studio, bar or a tour bus, there’s no authority or office to file a report. 

“If we come together as Hollywood did, in a strong way, then a lot of changes will come in the future,” said Diana Rodriguez, CEO of Criteria Entertainment.

For Nakury, that means more women need to speak out and be the lead needed. Nakury says with a microphone in hand, the best way for women artists to be heard is to speak out.

The artists also offered ways for young artists to shut down sexual harassment in the workplace. One piece of advice: say “no” even if you are not the target.

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