Country singer advocates for Tennessee anti-harassment bill

Mar 6, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  A country music singer-songwriter is lending her support to a bill introduced in the Tennessee Legislature.

The measure would provide better workplace protections against sexual harassment specifically for those working in the music industry.

Credit Katie Armiger

During a press event Monday, artist Katie Armiger spoke about the harassment she encountered after coming to Nashville to start her career.

“I was a teenager dealing with radio programmers touching me under tables at industry events, and making inappropriate sexual remarks. I was instructed not only to tolerate it, but to encourage it if I wanted my music to be played.”

Armiger has filed a lawsuit against her former label, Cold River Records, alleging sexual harassment by unnamed radio personnel. Cold River Records has denied any knowledge of the harassment

State Sen. Jeff Yarbro and state Rep. Brenda Gilmore are sponsoring the bill. The measure would allow a person under contract to bring a sexual harassment action the same way an employee can. Yarbro says the measure will prevent predators from killing Music City dreams.

“So many people in our city that have come and join the music business - try to make their economic life come together, try to make their creative life come together – and to often predators and people who are flouting the norms of our society stand in their way.”

In her comments, Armiger noted that being a musician signed to a record label is currently a “relatively undefined position." She hopes the proposed law will clarify an artist’s legal standing.