Words by Ruby-Rose Pivet-Marsh
You know someone is legit when they say "I only work with attractive female DJs" - which is exactly what "DJ of 12 yrs and nightclub owner" Justin James said when he put the call out to find some female DJ talent on public Facebook group Support FEMALE DJs !!!!!!!!
Evidently, he has no idea what being supportive actually means.
There has long been discussion on the representation of women in the music industry, with dance and electronica being regarded as particularly problematic and difficult for women to navigate. That is exactly the reason that groups such as Support FEMALE DJs exist.
Now, James has come along with this particular set of requirements, with talent as an afterthought.
Creepier still however, is his insistence that he work directly with the DJs themselves. No agents, no managers, with the talent and the talent alone. It's the music equivalent of the creepy photographer/model scout. He might as well have written "#nofatties, #nouglies, DM to discuss" and left it at that.
The first few points are pretty standard when it comes to people looking to book DJs. In this day and age, social media requirements aren't exactly unheard of - social media has as big role to play in the distribution and consumption of music, whether you think that's a positive thing or not.
With all the backlash from within the group, the post was quickly deleted by James - though you can rest easy knowing that many members have been re-posting it to ensure no one actually ever works with him. James also received a number of messages from unhappy members of the community and issued an un-surprisingly shitty non-apology over private messages. Thankfully, we have the screenshots of those too.
The standard bullshit non-apology of, "I would say I'm sorry if you were offended but I'm not" aside, he's just not doing himself or anyone else any favors. Clearly, he doesn't care because as a man, he is the one with the talent. In this particular message, he talks about how the people he was booking on behalf of gave the requirements, not Justin himself.
Well, taking into account the fact that his original post talked about how he is a seasoned DJ himself who refuses to work with women unless they are attractive, we're calling bullshit on that sad excuse for an explanation. Later, over on Twitter, he repeated that he's #sorrynotsorry and that everyone needs to understand that people paying upwards of 100k per year for attractive DJs can have whatever they want. Because there's nothing more important than making sure people with money to burn continue to do as they please no matter how sexist and ridiculous it is. He makes a comment about how this is the nature of the business and he isn't wrong. But that doesn't mean that is right.
Justin James, you're doing a good job of reaffirming our concerns with the music industry. Thanks??
Originally published on Howl & Echoes