BMG announced they will be reviewing all of their historic record contracts to check for racial inequalities. The company’s CEO, Hartwig Masuch, stated that if they find any equalities or anomalies they will create a plan to address them within 30 days.
Despite only having been around in its current form since 2008, BMG’s catalogue includes work by Quincy Jones, Cypress Hill, Lenny Kravitz, Gucci Man, Run the Jewels, Chief Keef, E-40, EPMD and Tech N9ne. BMG had formerly been a subset of Sony before their 2008 split.
Masuch announced the pledge to review anomalies in a letter to staff which had been published by Music Business Worldwide. In addition to stating they will be reviewing contracts to ensure racial equality, Masuch included a promise to make sure the company takes steps towards becoming more diverse and ensuring racial injustice and inequality does not occur in their offices. They also promised to speak up against racism throughout all 12 countries in which they operate.
The announcement comes after protests in support of Black Lives Matter swept across the country. The music business in particular has a strong history with black culture, as many black Americans founded most of the popular music genres today, including blues, rock, jazz, disco, house and techno, rap and R&B. Last week, the music industry participated in #TheShowMustBePaused and Black Out Tuesday, a social media event taking place on Tuesday, June 2, where music companies paused shows and releases for a day in support of the ongoing protests against police brutality and racial injustice.
Other companies have also begun taking steps towards fighting racial inequality. Warner Music Group donated $100 million to social justice organizations while Sony Music announced they will be creating their own $100 million fund to support social causes and Universal Music Group will be creating a $25 million “Change Fund.”
Kanye West also donated, spreading $2 million between the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmmaud Abery, while also giving money to black-owned businesses throughout his hometown of Chicago.