Jews do not run the music business, says Mark Ronson

Super producer who worked with Amy Winehouse responds to inflammatory Voice interview with Wiley


The pop star and producer Mark Ronson has hit back at claims made by the antisemitic rapper Wiley about Jewish domination of the music industry.

Reacting to the publication of the inflammatory interview with the Grime star published by black newspaper The Voice, Mr Ronson tweeted: “Jews do not run the music business in some secret cabal (and if they do it's mad f**ked up i havent been invited yet). [sic]”

The musician - best known for his Uptown Funk hit and his work with Amy Winehouse - also took issue with comments made by the Voice journalist, who wrote of claims “you need to get a Jewish lawyer in order to progress in the music business”.

Mr Ronson, who has regularly discussed his pride over his Jewish background, responded by tweeting: “MY LAWYER IS ITALIAN. My label is run by a Gentile, & owned by a Japanese board.”

Addressing Wiley’s claims that Jewish music business executives were responsible for offering contracts that left artists being treated like slaves, Mr Ronson wrote: “Many of us know that record deals can often be some of the most god-awfully unfair contracts in business.

“But that shitty record contract Wiley’s talking about? I promise my own record contract contains ALL the same standard shitty terms.”

He then criticised The Voice for the tone of the article, published on Wednesday, saying: "Throwing fuel on the fire with poorly researched articles that perpetuate dangerous myths by pretending to pose questions is not the way forward.”

Mr Ronson added: "We must address systematic racism.”

The controversial Voice article was written journalist Joel Campbell - arts and entertainment editor of The Voice - who asked: "Within his ranting were there any salient points?"

Mr Campbell then suggested Wiley was "not alone in his thinking, that there is an unspoken systemic oppression that blights the lives of young black creatives in the entertainment space."

After the article appeared online on Wednesday evening, it was widely condemned. Leading QC David Wolfson expressed his view on Twitter: "I do not exaggerate. This article is a 2020 version of Der Sturmer.”

Meanwhile the JC understands that senior Jewish and black figures in the music industry and within communal organisations have held urgent discussions in recent days to avoid the debate around Wiley’s antisemitic remarks escalating.

Discussions are said to have been “highly constructive”, with positive interventions from both sides.

Speaking to the JC in 2014, Mr Ronson said he was proud of the way "Jewish people have been at the forefront of many charity movements of the past 100 years. [And] look at anti-apartheid."

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