Podcast community group Content is Queen has published an open letter to audio industry leaders, asking them to take meaningful action to support creators from marginalised backgrounds.
The letter, written and signed by the organisation’s founder and CEO Imriel Morgan, follows the postponement of the Content is Queen International Women’s Podcast Festival which was cancelled due to lack of funding from the industry.
“Despite the audio industry’s public commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we are repeatedly told that there’s no funding available to support initiatives run by those communities which directly help underrepresented creators get a foothold in this industry,” the letter stated. “How does a sector seeing continued growth in advertising revenue openly and honestly say there’s no funding for events or activities explicitly targeting underrepresented groups, be they Black, disabled, women or LGBTQIA+?”
Additionally, the letter called out “one of the biggest audio companies in the world” for only pledging $100,000 to support African podcasters yet spending millions to acquire one creator and counted at least three organisations that publicly pledged £/$100M to create equity.
Key actions that the letter demands from audio industry leaders include transparency through disclosing funding allocation data by race, gender, and other marginalised identities; accountability by establishing clear public goals and timelines for funding and support to marginalised creators, as well as reporting progress, challenges, and successes; more investment into initiatives led by marginalised creators that goes beyond one-time grants, partnerships with organisers, creators, and podcasters from underrepresented backgrounds, and education via training and resources for industry professionals to understand systemic racism, misogyny, and other forms of discrimination.
The letter has been signed by a number of audio industry leaders already, including UK Audio Network owner Laura Blake, Broccoli Productions founder Renay Richardson, She Podcasts CEO Jessica Kupferman, podcaster Helen Zaltzman, Chalk and Blade co-founder Ruth Barnes, Don’t Skip founder Christina Moore, Vespucci head of podcasts Thomas Curry, and many more. Other creators can also show their support online by sharing the hashtag #saylessdomore.
In partnerhsip with UKAN, Content is Queen also launched phase two of the Equality in Audio Pact at The Podcast Show on Wednesday, which asks the industry to follow through on DEI pledges and includes new branding and a new website designed to keep signatories more accountable.