Black Artist Database (BAD) has cut ties with Beatportal following allegations of racism, sexism, and bullying in the workplace.
A new investigation from journalist Annabel Ross published by VICE on Tuesday, August 23, claims that a toxic workplace culture rules over Beatport’s editorial arm, Beatportal through its executives and management.
The allegations from two Jane Does, both past employees, relayed their time working for the editorial company in Berlin, as well as other former staff. Both Beatport’s Berlin general manager Terry Weerasinghe and CEO Rob McDaniels were accused of casual racism among other allegations.
In response to the VICE article, BAD has now suspended its partnership with Beatport, effective immediately “pending further internal review”.
“In light of the allegations regarding the safety of Beatport’s workplace for Black employees highlighted by a piece published by VICE yesterday, alleging racist, sexist & bullying behaviours by Beatport management, Black Artist Database is immediately suspending the partnership between ourselves and Beatportal,” reads a statement from BAD.
"We draw significant support from the shared experiences of our community, and we remain faithful to our goal of amplifying these voices and experiences,” they added.
Beatport and BAD first partnered in October 2021. Just last week, Beatportal published a cover feature with Black Rave Culture, a Black DJ crew based in the US, in partnership with Black Artist Database.
Read this next: Why we started the Black Artist Database
Beatport has since responded to the allegations in a statement to MusicTech, adding that they “strongly disagree” with VICE’s depiction of workplace culture at the editorial company.
“We believe the reporter set out to present Beatport in the most negative light possible, which is reflected in the fact that [Annabel Ross] declined to speak to employees with positive experiences working at The Beatport Group,” the statement reads.
“We have previously discussed the toxic environment that existed at Beatport during and immediately after the SFX bankruptcy, for which we are deeply sorry employees had to endure.”
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter