Robyn, Tove Lo, Zara Larsson, First Aid Kit and more call out sex abuse in Swedish music

Thousands of women have signed an open letter

Robyn, Tove Lo, Zara Larsson, First Aid Kit and thousands more women have signed an open letter decrying sexual assault in Sweden’s music industry.

Published in Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter last week, the letter reads: “We demand zero tolerance for sexual exploitation or violence. Sexual assault or violence will have consequences in terms of terminations of contracts. We will put shame back where it belongs—with the perpetrators and the people protecting them.” Read it in full in English here.

As Billboard report, Sony Music Entertainment Sweden managing director Mark Dennis has responded to the letter: “This is an extremely dark side of the music industry which now, thankfully, comes in the light it should be,” he says. “We will put all the effort to correct these distortions and, at the same time, note with great sadness that we have taken far too easy on what has proved to be a frightening structural problem.”

The letter follows widespread allegations of sexual abuse across the music industry and beyond.

Recently, Tove Lo spoke to NME about how “we need to stop judging anyone who is openly sexual”.

“When I grew up listening to music, I loved the artists what would really just tell the truth in how they’re thinking and feeling and talk about what life really was. They’re were the ones I connected with,” she said.

“These people were including sex and sexuality. You know, women discussing how they feel the same things as men but not being allowed to express those feelings. It was like ‘boys will be boys and girls will be girls’, but they’re not really the same thing. For me, I’d rather have the full truth than a softened version of it.”

Speaking on the impact of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, she continued:  “The #MeToo campaign happened, and a lot of men came out and admitted that they’d committed a lot of things that could be perceived as sexual assault, even if they didn’t even realise it. You know, this is a about people realising their own behaviour. Whenever it’s like ‘oh, we’re objectifying women’ – we’re turning the attention on to the women. What about what we do? Not just men, but what about women judging over women?

“Donna Karan was defending Weinstein. She was saying ‘women need to think about how they carry themselves and end up in these situations’. That’s insulting.”