The broadcaster described the music business as “a boys’ club” which was “kind of rigged against women” when speaking to a House of Commons committee, and claimed that many women have yet to come forward with their stories out of fear for their careers.
“There needs to be some sort of a shift in women feeling like they’re able to speak out without their careers being compromised, [but] I don’t know how that can happen,” the DJ said when speaking to the Women and Equalities Committee (via BBC News).
“I feel like there are a lot of revelations that have not been exposed… It’s infuriating, the amount of women who have stories of sexual assault that just kind of buried them and carried them. It’s just unbelievable.”
She continued: “So I do think if something were to happen, like if one person was to speak that had enough profile where it got media attention, I think there could be a kind of tidal wave of it. Definitely.”
When addressing the MPs, Macmanus – who goes by the name Annie Mac – confirmed that while she has not experienced or witnessed any sexual misconduct firsthand, she thinks her 19 years working with the BBC provided her with a “shield of protection” to talk about such issues.
“There are common threads that run through everything I’ve heard,” she said, recalling how she has spoken to multiple agents, managers, producers, photographers, artists and fellow DJs about their experiences.
“That is that women, especially young women in the music industry, are consistently underestimated and undermined, and freelance women are consistently put in situations where they are unsafe.”
She added: “The music industry is a boys’ club. Everybody knows everyone in the top levels. All the people at the very top levels have the money. They also have the power. The system is kind of rigged against women.”
Elsewhere at the address at the House of Commons, former X Factor star Rebecca Ferguson also shared evidence with those conducting an inquiry into misogyny in the music business.
Here, she explained that misogynistic attitudes were just “the tip of the iceberg of the things that are happening behind the scenes”, and that “bullying and corruption” are continuously “allowed to happen” by those in senior positions.
“There are plenty of times when you’re placed in situations where you are being compromised and where people are abusing their level of power,” she explained.
“But as well as that, the thing that worries me the most is the rapes that are going unreported. That’s what concerns me the most – the fact that women feel like they can’t speak up.
“One lady contacted me and said, ‘I’ve wanted to do this [speak out] my entire life. If I speak up against him, he’s so powerful, I will never work in this industry ever again’.”
Earlier this year, former X Factor contestant Lucy Spraggan came forward to reveal that she dropped out of the ITV series after being sexually assaulted.
Aged 20 at the time, the singer recalled that she was raped by a hotel porter while competing on the talent show in 2012, and detailed the attack in her memoir Process: Finding My Way Through.