David Byrne is releasing a new album, American Utopia, at the end of the week, though it’s streaming now. He’s just posted a statement addressing the lack of women who worked on the album, in light of a playlist he made highlighting the many people he collaborated with on American Utopia. “I regret not hiring and collaborating with women for this album — it’s ridiculous, it’s not who I am and it certainly doesn’t match how I’ve worked in the past,” he wrote. Read the full statement below.
I recently posted a piece and a playlist about the various folks who collaborated on my new album. There have been some responses and some of them have pointed out the lack of women among this group. I’d like to thank those of you who wrote for calling attention to this-this matters a lot to me.
The image in the post clearly reveals this problem in a way that mere words do not. This lack of representation is something that is problematic and wide spread in our industry. I regret not hiring and collaborating with women for this album-it’s ridiculous, it’s not who I am and it certainly doesn’t match how I’ve worked in the past. It doesn’t represent my current live show, which has a slew of diverse creators and collaborators, making this even more negligent on my part.
I am happy that we live in a time that this conversation is happening. It’s hard to realize that no matter how much effort you spend nudging the world in what you hope is the right direction, sometimes you are part of the problem. I never thought of myself as being “one of those guys,” but I guess to some extent I am. Your responses serve as a corrective. Thank you.
American Utopia is out 3/9 via Nonesuch Records.