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Burger Records to shut down entirely following grooming allegations

22 July 2020, 09:57 | Written by Cerys Kenneally

Burger Records is shutting down completely following multiple grooming allegations that surfaced over last weekend.

Over the past few days, multiple allegations of grooming were posted on an Instagram account with the handle @lured_by_burger_records. It's an account "dedicated to amplifying voices and supporting those who were victims of sexual predation by predators involved with Burger Records."

Burger Records responded to the allegations by reaffirming its "long-standing zero-tolerance policy for this sort of behaviour" in an Instagram post published on Saturday (18 July). The statement read, "Zero-tolerance means complete removal from all Burger platforms, destruction of physical media, and an end to our dealings with you, no questions asked, and no exceptions given. If your situation calls for it, we will report you to the proper authorities. We have taken these actions with the artists that were reported to us in the past day, with the exception of removal of the offending artists catalog. We are donating profits from sales of that artist to charity at the victims request."

On Monday night (20 July), Burger Records released a second statement detailing structural changes in the company, and apologised for "perpetuating a culture of toxic masculinity". The changes included co-founder Lee Rickard stepping down as label president, and co-founder Sean Bohrman moving into a "transitional role", as well as a name change to BRGR RECS, and a new all-female imprint called BRGRRRL. Jessa Zapor-Gray was expected to take over as interim label president, but yesterday (21 July) Zapor-Gray released a statement revealing she will no longer take on the role.

Zapor-Gray writes, "When I was asked to take over in this capacity, I expected some blowback for my decision to accept but I believed that the opportunity to have a role in effecting real and lasting positive change within the Burger and indie music scenes was worth the risk. Upon further review, I have informed Burger Records that I no longer believe I will be able to achieve my intended goals in assuming the leadership role at Burger in the current climate. Therefore, I have decided to step away from the label entirely to focus on my other projects."

Pitchfork reports that Sean Bohrman said of the label's future, "We decided to fold the label." Bohrman was then asked if BRGR RECS would still be going ahead, to which he replied, "Nope."

Bohrman also revealed that all Burger Records’ releases will eventually be removed from streaming services, and confirmed that the artists will be able to reissue their records if they want.

Yesterday (21 July), Oakland's Burger Boogaloo festival promoters Total Trash cut ties with the label, and will change its name in the near future. In a statement on their site, they wrote, "In light of the recent allegations against Burger Records and several of the bands on their label, Total Trash Productions has made the decision to end our long-standing partnership with Burger Records. We want to express our heartfelt support for the brave women who have come forward to share their stories."

All of Burger Records' social media accounts have been deactivated.
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