It’s been six years since the #MeToo movement exploded into the mainstream consciousness, and Ellie Goulding believes that the reckoning has changed the music industry for the better. In a new interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today show, the “Love Me Like You Do” singer recounted the evolution of her experiences in the music industry post-#MeToo.
“I definitely think the landscape has changed a bit, especially since the [#MeToo] movement,” Goulding said. “I think that was really, really important for people to keep speaking out about their individual stories, because I know a lot was happening and just wasn’t being talked about.”
Activist Tarana Burke first coined the phrase “Me Too” in the context of raising awareness against sexual violence and rape culture in 2006. The phrase grew into a culture-shifting social movement by 2017 when several sexual abuse allegations were levied against disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein.
Those Weinstein allegations became a catalyst for more people to feel comfortable coming forward and sharing their stories. In the interview, Goulding recounted an experience that she had “sort of normalized.”
“You know, when you go into a studio and afterwards the producer asks if you want to go for a drink. And I’m quite a polite person, I don’t like letting people down. I don’t like disappointing people. So I was like, ‘Yeah, sure, absolutely, go for a drink,’” she explained. “And then it sort of somehow becomes like a romantic thing when it shouldn’t. You don’t want it to be a romantic thing, but it’s like there was always a slight feeling of discomfort when you walked into a studio and it was just one or two men writing or producing.”
For Goulding, “hearing so many other, similar stories from other female musicians and singers” helped her realize that those experiences — which she described as a “kind of currency” — were not to be normalized. “I [realized] that I wasn’t alone in it at all. It wasn’t just me, being particularly friendly.”
“It was like a sort of unspoken thing where if you’re working with male producers, that was almost like an expectation, which sounds mad for me to say out loud, and it definitely wouldn’t happen now. I mean, very rarely, because things have just really changed,” she said. “Younger artists at Polydor, my record label, will now have chaperones when they go to the studio. And they also have a chance to speak to a [counselor] or speak to someone about their experience as an up-and-coming musician.”
The “Lights” singer’s recent sentiments echo a 2020 Independent interview where she said, “I feel really stupid for saying I wasn’t affected by the #MeToo movement… I [normalized] too much and I am sad about that.”
Goulding is entering the new year with her second career Grammy nomination — best pop dance recording for “Miracle” (with Calvin Harris). In 2023, she earned her sixth career entry on the Billboard 200 with Higher Than Heaven (No. 125), which also hit No. 1 on the U.K. Albums chart.