HomeDomestic NewsDanish Documentary Exposes Sexism in Music Industry, Sparks Debate

Danish Documentary Exposes Sexism in Music Industry, Sparks Debate

The latest documentary from DR, ‘Sexism in the Music Industry’, has already sparked significant debate and shaken the Danish music world. The documentary, consisting of two hour-long episodes, reveals the widespread and deeply-rooted sexism that female musicians have been subjected to. Among the brave women who come forward and tell their stories is Kat Stephie Holst, a member of the pop group Sukkerchok.

Kat Stephie Holst was only 17 years old when she first experienced boundary-crossing behavior from a male producer. During a recording session, she was interrupted with the words: “Show me your tits now. We won’t continue until I’ve seen your tits.” Kat Stephie initially thought it was a bad joke, but it quickly became clear that the man meant it seriously. The episode repeated itself several times, leaving a deep impact on the young singer. “It was so boundary-crossing, and it was difficult for me to handle as a 17-year-old,” she explains.

Despite these violating experiences, Kat Stephie continued her musical journey and achieved great success with Sukkerchok. But even within the group, she often felt pressured to take on a sexualized role that did not align with her own identity. “I didn’t come up with the idea that I should be a pin-up girl. By nature, I was a tomboy, and I didn’t need to be a sex object,” she clarifies.

A particularly uncomfortable memory from that time was the filming of the music video for ‘De 1000 drømmes nat’ in 2010, where she was pressured to be naked on set. “I was constantly told that I didn’t have to, but that it would be great for the result and the single. Back then, I didn’t feel like I could genuinely say no without disappointing anyone,” says Kat Stephie, who ended up crossing her own boundaries to meet others’ expectations.

‘Sexism in the Music Industry’ sheds light on necessary and uncomfortable truths. With Kat Stephie Holst and 12 other female musicians coming forward, the documentary hopes to bring about change and raise awareness about the structural problems in the music industry. Casper Bengtson, managing director of Universal Music, has already responded to the criticism by calling Kat Stephie’s experience unacceptable and emphasizing that no musician should feel pressured into something they do not want.

The revelations of the documentary have the potential to be a turning point for the fight for gender equality in the music industry, much like Sofie Linde’s revelations about sexism in the media industry have been in the past. Kat Stephie Holst and the other women’s courageous testimonies are not just a cry for help but also a strong demand for respect and equality in an industry where sexism unfortunately still prevails.

Read the danish version here

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