Bethany Cosentino on Music Sexism: ‘There Are a Lot of People in the Industry Who Do Shady Things’
Women like Amber Coffman "[give] other women bravery to come forward," Best Coast frontwoman says
Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah last night to discuss music-industry sexism and disgraced former music publicist Heathcliff Berru. Multiple women, beginning with Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors, have accused Berru of sexual assault. Cosentino was an early supporter of Coffman on Twitter, and went on to write an essay about misogyny and double standards she’s encountered in her career.
Sexual harassment “doesn’t exist just in my industry,” Cosentino told Noah. “As a woman, I felt it was so important to support my peer, my female peer. I didn’t realize that it was going to become such a huge thing.” Nonetheless, Cosentino said, she’s comfortable in her role as a spokesperson for the issue.
“When someone like me, or someone like Amber, or any woman out there comes forward and says, ‘This is the situation, I am not okay with it, the world should not be okay with it,’ that gives other women bravery to come forward and say, ‘I’ve experienced this. We really need to put an end to this kind of behavior,” Cosentino continued. “I hope that there is one woman out there who is now standing up to her boss, or standing up to a man in the world who’s making her feel less than because she’s a woman.”
In the months since Coffman and other women went public, the Berru allegations have continued to reverberate. Writer Rebecca Haithcoat gathered a harrowing collection of stories from women in the industry for Broadly, and in a post titled “Blood, Sugar, Sex, Dickheads,” record label executive Julie Farman credited Coffman with giving her courage to come forward with her story of misconduct by the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the ’80s. Cosentino has also continued to speak out, slamming Chris Brown’s “Back to Sleep” as a “disgusting” song that “perpetuates rape culture.”