HARD Summer is an annual L.A.-based festival that scoops rock music out of the equation in favor of a bill that expands the common ground shared by rap, EDM, and other, more underground strands of dance music. In conjunction with the announcement of this year’s lineup, HARD released a video that aimed to address the gender disparity of most festival lineups. Alas, the video—in which a skeevy booker puts fake boobs on male DJs instead of finding actual female talent—did the opposite of what it intended, making a clumsy mockery of a real issue, in the process arguably doing more to reinforce the problem than to destroy it.
So perhaps today’s apology from HARD founder Gary Richards about the video, which was directed by a woman named Agata Alexander, was inevitable. The apology reads:
Here at HARD Events we are here for everyone. The HARD SUMMER trailer was created as a satirical piece to raise consciousness at a time when equality issues are of utmost importance. Our goal is to promote good music and we are trying to give women more of a platform at our festival.
My intentions here were only to help, not offend anyone, in supporting Agata’s vision and message. I understand that she does not speak for all women and how people could be upset by the trailer. There is always a risk of misinterpretation when satire is used, but we felt it was right to let her express herself and have creative control over the piece. We want to extend a sincere apology to those who were offended.
We hope the conversations started by this piece bring the change we intended and we will continue to be a champion for Women’s rights within our community and world at large.
Let’s try again next year.