Gatekeepers – Sexual Harassment in the Music Industry

Lady Gaga interviewed for NFL Network (2016), Author SMP Entertainment, Source Vimeo: SB50 Lady Gaga Interview https://vimeo.com/159307047 (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)

WARNING:  Graphic Images

Noel Fisher a/k/a Detail – a Grammy Award-winning music producer and songwriter who worked with the likes of Beyonce, Maroon 5, Jennifer Lopez, and Nicki Minaj – was last month arrested on 15 charges of sexual assault and 5 additional charges of felony assault [1A].

The charges stem from incidents between 2010 and 2018.  Bail was set at $6.29 million.

In her song “Gatekeeper”, Jessie Reyez (co-author of the hits “One Kiss” and “Promises”) described in graphic terms being harassed by a producer she later identified as Fisher:

“Oh I’m the gatekeeper/Spread your legs/Open up/You could be famous/If you come up anywhere else, I’ll erase you.”

-Jessie Reyez, “Gatekeeper” [2A]

Reyez maintains Fisher disparaged her for not having sex to advance her career.  Singers Bebe Rexha and Tinashe had similar experiences with Fisher [2B].

In 2018, Janae Knox, a Fisher assistant, filed suit alleging he asked her to shower with him and demanded sexual favors [2C].  Isabella Mack, another Fisher assistant, filed suit alleging she was forcefully held against her will while Fisher masturbated [2D].  Fisher, also, demanded Mack pose for nude pictures and videos.

In 2019, model Kristina Buch was awarded $15 million in a suit alleging Fisher raped her [1B].

But allegations of sexual assault in the music industry are nothing new.

The notorious R. Kelly has pleaded innocent to charges of aggravated sexual abuse involving four victims (three between the ages of 13 and 17).

The Oscar and Grammy-winning superstar, Lady Gaga says she was sexually assaulted by a music producer at the age of 19 [2E].

Several women, including the Nashville singer-songwriter Ruby Amanfu, have come forward claiming Ryan Adams – the Grammy-nominated songwriter who worked as a producer for Willie Nelson – promised to assist with their musical careers, then became abusive when they refused his sexual overtures [2F].

Gatekeepers

In the Bible, gatekeepers were members of the tribe of Levi, officials and high priests charged with the duty of protecting the Lord’s house.  Gatekeepers were, also, watchmen on the walls, warning those within of approaching danger.

Our society seems to have turned that relationship on its head.  Gatekeepers now control access to resources and advancement, in the music industry and elsewhere.  Petty tyrants, they extract sexual favors as their right.

The women who resist such corrupt demands may be denied their chance at fame and fortune.  But they will be honored by the Lord.

I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Ps. 84: 10).

[1] Billboard, “Detail, Producer Who won Grammy For Beyone’s ‘Drunk In Love’, Arrested on Sexual Assault Charges” by Lars Brandle, 8/6/20, https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/9430040/detail-producer-arrested-sexual-assault-charges.

[2A through 2F]  Billboard, “When Music Producers Are Accused of Being Predators” courtesy of Associated Press, 3/1/19,  https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/8500693/music-producers-accused-predators.

Porn star Ron Jeremy, 67 y.o., has been charged with sexual assault involving 12 women and a 15 y.o. girl.  The charges span a 16 year period extending back to 2004.  Jeremy earlier this year pled not guilty to raping 3 other women. 
See, https://deadline.com/2020/08/adult-film-star-ron-jeremy-charged-with-three-counts-of-rape-1202967642/.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: https://alawyersprayers.com

11 Comments

Filed under Abuse of Power, Christianity, Justice, Law, Rape, Religion, Sexual Assault, Violence Against Women

11 responses to “Gatekeepers – Sexual Harassment in the Music Industry

  1. This is maddening and heartbreaking. I’m glad these girls and women are finally able to press charges, and be believed.

  2. It is amazing how people twist the words of the bible from one meaning to another. Shocking that women have to go through this just to work. Pleased they brought them to trial despicable men in the music and film industry.

  3. Although much is obviously still hidden, never before has so much been exposed, because we publicize previously taboo words and deeds – yet the perverts remain brazen, ready to act, repetitively.

  4. The rich can have a choice of willing partners.. but I believe they would rather feel the thrill of chasing and overpowering their prey..
    It is sad that Gods design of human sexuality has been so distorted. Entertainment has been corrupted for many years.

  5. I believe that most people would not believe the number of rapes that occur daily. This is a great post. Thank you again my friend, Anna, for making people aware that it exist everywhere.

    I was a Rape Relief and Sexual Assault Advocate, I received extensive training prior to starting my volunteer duties, and was on-call in the city I worked in. We went out on the calls, to the hospital with the victims, later to the police department and to the hospital for their exams. It is very difficult to get a rape charge to stick.

    These women were so brave that brought charges against their accused. In all the time I was involved in working as an advocate I only saw two women who got a conviction. They had been watched for a while the police believed. They knew exactly when the women would be coming home from work and they worked different hours. The first woman let a man in that said his friend was seriously hurt and he wanted to use her phone. He had a gun and him and his friend waited for the other girl to get home. They raped these women off and on all night long and the man with the gun continually talked about killing the two of them so they could never be identified. The women told their stories in two separate situations, not together, and their stories were identical and they could identify the accused, those two men were found guilty of multiple counts of rape and other charges. It is not easy to face a man that has raped you or to risk not getting a conviction. A lot of women are afraid of the man accused coming back after them. It can take a victim years to feel safe or to feel that she can get back control over her life. These are brave women. Thanks for giving them a voice Anna. Love you Joni.

    • I agree. Sexual violence is all too prevalent in our society. I did not realize that you were once a Rape Relief and Sexual Assault Advocate, Joni. That requires courage and compassion. Thank you for sharing your experience. Women must support one another through such trauma. That you were able to serve in that role despite your own abuse is admirable. I am sure your presence made a difference to the rape victims, even in those cases where police were unable to secure convictions. I am honored to know you, Joni. Love, A.

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