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Music taskforce calls for BAME term to be consigned to ‘dustbin of history’

(Andy Butterton/PA)
(Andy Butterton/PA)

A music taskforce has urged the industry to scrap the “outdated and offensive” term BAME as part of a drive to improve diversity.

The term, which stands for black, Asian and minority ethnic, is widely used as a catch-all in discussions relating to race and inclusion.

But a taskforce set up by UK Music, the body which represents the commercial interests of the music industry, claimed many find it misleading and inappropriate, including those from ethnic minority groups.

Ammo Talwar, record store owner and chairman of the taskforce, said BAME was a “careless catch-all acronym” and should be replaced in conversation by terms that were more specific.

UK Music’s call comes after discussions with music industry insiders and a series of focus groups, the results of which will be published in its report into diversity across the music industry this October.

The body is also preparing to launch a 10-point plan, agreed by its members, to help boost diversity and inclusion.

Mr Talwar said: “Our report on workforce diversity in the music industry highlights where positive progress is being made, but also where more strategic long-term work and investment is urgently needed.

“There is now an unstoppable momentum for change at pace to rapidly improve diversity in the music business and across society.

“One key change we want to see is the end of the use of a term which is outdated and offensive to many people from black, Asian and other diverse communities.

“It is a term that is often used in reports and campaigns, but it’s not relevant in today’s modern music industry and jars with many in diverse communities.

“I have had many conversations with people in the music industry who want to see the end of an acronym which works against the sense of community and common purpose that we are all working so hard to build in the music industry and across society.

“Our UK Music taskforce, with the support of many of our partners in the music industry, want the term consigned to the dustbin of history.

“It’s a key step on the path to an inclusive, welcoming culture that we all want to foster.

“If there is a need to refer to people’s heritage, it is far better to use a word like ‘black’, ‘Asian’ or something more specific, rather than a careless catch-all acronym.

“Our diversity is the source of our greatest strength in the music industry.

“However, we need to bring about further change to ensure our world-leading industry is as diverse and inclusive as possible.”

There has been increased scrutiny of the arts and culture industries following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd in the US and subsequent Black Lives Matter protests.

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