NASHVILLE — A 10-page article published in Rolling Stone Country this week outlines a country music environment riddled with allegations and inappropriate behavior.
“Past clients, its been an issue and we’ve had to think about how do we separate people in the team that don’t act appropriately,” Stephanie Taylor said.
Taylor legally represents several artists, she also has first hand experience in the industry as a musician and artist herself. “Country radio, it’s the gatekeeper,” she said.
In the country music industry radio stations are the decision makers in whether your song gets played and whether or not you have a career. Over time it’s cultivated an environment where, according to the article, young and budding artists could be taken advantage of.
“There are wonderful men and women at radio who do wonderful things,” said Taylor. “Its that small number that act inappropriately that make it difficult for men and women to break through at country radio.”
In a time of #metoo and #timesup movements, aside from the accusation that music publicist Kirt Webster used his connections to prey on young men, the country music industry has stayed relatively quiet.
“I agree that the country music industry has been quiet about it, and I think that’s for a lot of reasons,” Taylor said.
For one, Taylor said new artists and employees don’t want to burn bridges and while misconduct is present it’s not pervasive. Also, the country music industry if very tight knit.
“I think there are a lot of people in positions in the country music industry right now asking themselves, should we clean house,” said Taylor.
Discussions surrounding inappropriate behavior is just getting starting but Taylor said don’t be surprised if you don’t hear about it, “I think the changes will happen but quietly.”