The Queens of nineties pop, All Saints came out this week with the revelation that they were asked to do Top of the Pops naked at the request of producers. During an interview to promote their latest album, Red Flag, the girls revealed that they were seen as ‘stroppy’ for not complying for requests to let go of their dignity and perform nude for a room of leering media types. The request came down to a compromise, where the girls pulled their tops down to their shoulders to give the effect of a naked body when filmed from the neck up.
In a male dominated music industry, stories like this are banded around with female artists being portrayed as villainous for not complying with requests that would seem outrageous in any other types of work. At Aye Write! Glasgow Book Festival, Poets Kate Tempest and Holly Mcnish told a very similar story of this kind of treatment happening still today.
Kate told the audience how she and Hollie had been asked to write a poem for Channel 4’s ‘Random Acts’, a series of 3 minute films produced by artists. After the poem was finished for the programme, the producers came back to the duo and asked if they could do it naked. Tempest and Mcnish then politely declined the offer to continue with the project.
It appears that at the heart of the UK’s big media there is still a problem with asking too much of people, especially women, to go outside their comfort zone for very little benefit to their art. Sexuality is bought and sold cheaply in these circles, and in many cases to satisfy the lecherous desires of producers pulling the strings. There has been a lot of stories about men in the creative industry taking advantage of others recently, (Kesha, Africa Bambatta) so more then ever, we need to keep an open mind about what goes on behind closed doors. Some people are like Tempest, and can shout freely about it because she’s in charge of her own world, but for All Saints, it took years for them to talk about this out of fears of being cut out of the industry – which is completely ridiculous. You shouldn’t fear for your talent to go to waste because somebody wants you naked on TV.
Words by – Leona Dirigibles