With heads rolling in Hollywood over sexual misconduct/assault allegations, I can’t help but think if something similar is brewing in the hard rock and metal world. In a genre that has been dominated by hetero males, Rob Halford, Dug Pinnick, Cynic’s Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert as well as Otep lead woman Otep Shamaya are the only gay and lesbian artists that I am aware of. As horrible as this sounds, one of the reasons people did not come forward until Star Trek Discovery’s Anthony Rapp disclosed that his encounter with Kevin Spacey as a teen, is that they did not want to out the actor as being gay. Could this be something that is holding artist in hard rock and metal back from discussing similar encounters? It is horrible to think that the long-term effect on someone that is preying on you is the reason you don’t want to step forward, regardless of what you or anyone’s sexual preference may be.
What about females in metal, sure there has been a rise of female musicians in the last 20 or so years, but what must it have been like for pioneers like Doro Pesch, Lita Ford, Kittie, and the aforementioned Otep, had to deal with to break into hard rock and metal and have to deal with sexual advances from producers, people at labels, promoters, journalist, photographers or anyone else while trying to record or perform. We’ve all heard what Marilyn Monroe had to deal with; I can’t even imagine what any of these female artists have had to deal with.
There has been one person that has been accused of raping someone while all of this has taken place, and that is Jordie White, aka Twiggy Ramirez of Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails fame. He has been let go from Manson and has since released two statements regarding the allegations made by Jessicka Addams, singer of Jack Off Kill. In his first statement, he said the following:
“I will be taking some time to spend with my family and focus on maintaining my several years of sobriety,” he continues by stating “If I have caused anyone pain I apologize and truly regret it.”
Then a second was made, where similar to Spacey’s response to Rapp, it seems he doesn’t remember the incident until it was just brought back up:
“I have only recently been made aware of these allegations from over 20 years ago. I do not condone non-consensual sex of any kind. I will be taking some time to spend with my family and focus on maintaining my several years of sobriety. If I have caused anyone pain I apologize and truly regret it.”
So let’s look at the list of people that have allegedly been accused, beyond big-name actors (Spacey, Ben Affleck, and Dustin Hoffman), there are heads of studios, heads magazines, TV personalities, and directors. Could you imagine three of the biggest musicians, the head of a big label, music magazine, the host of the music-based TV show, and some big-name producers being named as having sexual misconduct within this genre of music we love?
The fear repercussions to one’s career is the biggest reason people more than likely have not come forward, and some that have been coming forward, for example, Corey Feldman, has been scoffed at for years when discussing things such as pedophilia in Hollywood, so what would happen if a musician came forward to challenge someone as big as a Spacey or bigger? Unfortunately, Feldman doesn’t seem so crazy at the moment. I use music as an example, but we all know about the current president’s “grab em” comments, as well as wheelchair-bound former president George H.W. Bush supposedly groping while asking if the victim knew who his favorite author was, to which he answered, ‘David Cop-a-feel’ as he squeezed their rear ends.
People have been joking on social media about #metoo, and not taking the plight of women that have been raped seriously. Due to this hashtag, I have found out about family members, and friends that have been raped or sexually assaulted, I personally think it is brave of them to tell their stories. I can’t help but think of people, specifically males goofing on this, being in a room with a sexual predator that, much like the accusations were thrown at Spacey, have had someone they are not interested in for whatever reason stick their hands down their pants to grope them, or someone just walk up to them and full on grabbing their junk. Imagine being in a band that is being promised a big tour, or a big contract of some sorts, in exchange for some sexual favors or having this big-name personality threaten to end their career if they do not comply. Sucks to put things into that sort of context, but given all of these allegations, it could be applied to Hollywood, the music industry or any other walk of life.
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