‘Silence is not an option’: Over 700 UK music figures back anti-racism letter
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‘Silence is not an option’: Over 700 UK music figures back anti-racism letter

Pledge to stand together against racism gathers hundreds of signatures from artists, songwriters, producers, managers, labels, agents and industry lawyers

Jess Glynne has spoken out against antisemitism
Jess Glynne has spoken out against antisemitism

More than 700 artists and leading figures from the UK’s music industry, including singers Rita Ora, James Blunt, Leona Lewis and Jess Glynne, have backed an anti-racism letter. 

The open letter, shared on social media with the hashtag #NoSilenceInMusic,  gathered hundreds of signatures from artists, songwriters, producers, managers, labels, agents and industry lawyers.

“We, representatives from the music industry, write to demonstrate and express our determination, that love, unity and friendship, not division and hatred, must and will always be our common cause,” it reads.

The letter says that “whether it be systemic racism and racial inequality highlighted by continued police brutality in America or anti-Jewish racism promulgated through online attacks, the result is the same: suspicion, hatred and division. We are at our worst when we attack one another.”

“From slavery to the Holocaust we have painful collective memories. All forms of racism have the same roots – ignorance, lack of education and scapegoating.

“We, the British music industry are proudly uniting to amplify our voices, to take responsibility, to speak out and stand together in solidarity. Silence is not an option.”

The letter comes after controversy over allegedly antisemitic tweets published by the rapper Wiley last month, which drew wide criticism, including from Jewish groups.

The grime artist, who was made an MBE for his services to music in 2018, was permanently suspended from Twitter following a 48-hour boycott of the platform.

Facebook and Instagram have also banned Wiley from their platforms.

Wiley apologised in an interview with Sky News “for generalising and going outside of the people who I was talking to within the workspace and workplace I work in.”

He told the broadcaster: “My comments should not have been directed to all Jews or Jewish people. I want to apologise for generalising, and I want to apologise for comments that were looked at as antisemitic.

“I’m not racist, you know. I’m a businessman. My thing should have stayed between me and my manager, I get that.”

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