‘Outdated and offensive’: UK Music Diversity Taskforce calls on industry to drop BAME acronym

UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce is calling on the industry to drop the “outdated and offensive” BAME acronym as part of its drive make the music business a more diverse and inclusive environment.

The demand comes ahead of the trade body’s report into diversity across the UK music industry.

BAME stands for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic – it does not relate to country origin or affiliation. UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce says the widely used term is considered misleading and inappropriate by many, particularly those from diverse communities.

The recommendation to end the use of the acronym comes as part of a new and ‘Ten-Point Plan’ to increase diversity and inclusion, which has been agreed by UK Music’s members.

UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce chair, Ammo Talwar MBE, commented: “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“One key change we want to see is the end of the use of a term which is outdated and offensive to many people from Black, Asian and other diverse communities.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.

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“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.”