If you are serious Lizzie, then name them

Lizzie Marvelly has a shabby column in the NZ Herald that she claims sheds light on sexual abuse in the music industry.

She is also pimping it via Facebook.

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She is being lauded as brave, as well she might be, but not for her shabby hit piece where she doesn’t name a single one of her alleged abusers.

Apparently, we must all take a stand against the gropers and the philanderers:

The stories I’ve shared here are just a selection of the incidents I’ve either experienced or witnessed over my decade in the industry. Writing this, I was reminded of things that I’d repressed. Incidents I’d completely forgotten about. Like being groped on stage at age 19.

Before now I worried that I’d never work again if I dared to speak about the sexual abuse that I’d endured, largely at the hands of powerful older men who had the means to make life difficult for me.

When you’ve been treated like a profit-generating object, styled and moulded to become a brand, it takes some time to realise that you were a person, a young person, who was mistreated by people who should’ve known better.   

But now, I have control over my career and a life outside the music industry. Speaking about these things still means risking relationships with friends and colleagues, but staying quiet means being complicit in the disgusting behaviour that helped to inform my decision to take a step back from an industry I love.

Nothing quite prepares you for the guilt you feel when you decide to keep quiet about what a colleague did to you, and then hear that they’ve since done the same thing (or worse) to another younger woman. Watching other women walking the same tightrope, I realised that while I’ve broken free of the shackles that bought my silence, others are still trapped. Why?

Statistically, the industry is still dominated by men.

Men decide whether or not your song gets played on radio. They decide whether they’ll promote your tour. They decide who gets a record deal, who plays a festival, and even who receives a New Zealand On Air grant.

Over the last five rounds of music funding, only eight women have served on the panel tasked with deciding which songs to fund. Compared to 21 men.

And even when women do call the shots, as a woman in the industry it’s hard to speak up.

Especially when the people doing the abusing are your friends. It’s much easier to stay quiet. I know. I’ve kept my mouth shut for years.

But that culture of silence enables abusers to prey on their victims with impunity.

Enough is enough. It’s time for us to say, loud and clear, this has to stop.

 It won’t stop, Lizzie dear, if people like you don’t actually name the perpetrators of the sleaze and sexual abuse. Your cute phrases and little brackets indicating the anonymous groper is married don’t achieve anything.

 How many Police complaints have you laid?

How many complaints to the organisations they represent have you made?

The sisterhood may have anointed you for your bravery in speaking out, but you haven’t really done anything other than smear a whole lot of people in the music industry with your claims and innuendo.

If she was serious about stopping the sexual abuse in the industry she’d name them all. She has maintained the culture of silence and, worse, waited until she made the determination for herself that she was now untouchable and so could smear away with impunity.

But now, I have control over my career and a life outside the music industry. Speaking about these things still means risking relationships with friends and colleagues, but staying quiet means being complicit in the disgusting behaviour that helped to inform my decision to take a step back from an industry I love.

Name them Lizzie. Stop being sanctimonious and partially silent. Name them and truly make a stand that this has to stop.

Name them. How brave are you? Brave enough to risk a law suit?

If she doesn’t name them then this column will be forgotten in as much time as it takes the Herald to find another Instagram shot of Kim Kardashian’s arse or Miley Cyrus partially naked somewhere.


– NZ Herald


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  • taxpayer

    I read her article and basically all that happened was a few men she was not attracted to had tried it on with her.
    And that’s sexual abuse.
    How many men who she did find attractive, tried it on and scored we will never know, because she found them attractive so therefore it’s not sexual abuse.
    Look out guys, if you are a hunk go for it, if not don’t think about even trying so much as a chat up line or you run the risk of being labeled an abuser.
    Next time some hideous whopper of a girl in Pak and Save brushes past me a bit too close or gives me a smile, I may have to write to the paper about the pain of sexual abuse at the supermarket.

    • Urbanviper

      I think that is reading into it a bit far. I think approaching her, asking her if she was willing to [insert suggestion] would be okay but where they crossed the line was in touching her and persisting in their advances. When we talk about consent we mean two people have to communicate. So no problem if people in the industry wanted to try their luck. They just can’t touch her without permission and persist.

      More importantly what does Lizzie want to prove from this? That men find her attractive and think dirty thoughts about her? Because unless she lodged complaints with the employers or police then she hasn’t really stood up to them at all. Naming them in public isn’t right either because everyone deserves their day in court.

      • Damon Mudgway

        Actually you can touch someone and persist if you have the belief you have implied consent. If someone you’re trying it on with doesn’t say no, then the situation can get a bit tricky to read. a tough one for sure.

      • Miss McGerkinshaw

        Luckily I’m female and well past the age of being ‘dangerous’ but boy would I be in trouble otherwise as I am very much a toucher when I talk, forever patting people, yes sometimes even on the backside, calling them love and all those things now considered nasty abusive.

      • taxpayer

        Good point UV, as for myself I have never approached a women and asked if she was willing to insert suggestion ha ha.
        I find it’s very obvious if someone fancies you and my encounters have always begun by inching closer together on a couch until you are both in range to go for it, I have never gone wrong with this approach.
        I would say the guys who don’t instantly understand if they go for it and are refused would be drunk, full of themselves to a delusional point, unable to take a hint, or just plain thick.
        Probably this type of guy would be over represented in pop music circles.

  • Crowgirl

    She can’t name them and shame them because then she’d be criticised for smearing someone and wrecking their lives without evidence, just like those other women who went public on someone in the music industry on The Spinoff a couple of weeks ago were.

    Lizzie’s ‘bravery’ is obviously inspired by what those women did and this column is just the next iteration of that story.

  • Damon Mudgway

    Interesting article, but I’m a bit loathe to say there was actually any sexual assaults. I doubt she will name anyone, as this seems nothing more than a beat up on men in the industry.

    I get very confused, as does my wife in these matters. Many women use their sexuality in furthering their career, and by that I don’t mean sleeping around. Women are actually ALLOWED to dress and act seductively, if done with dignity it can be incredibly feminine and empowering. Men shouldn’t need to apologise all the time for getting mixed signals, but make no mistake, men should treat women with respect and courtesy.

    Now women should be able to dress how they please. But what exactly is it a women wants to get back when she dresses in a sexy LBD? Who is she dressing for? Herself? Her friends? Or to attract a mate? After all, we are sexual creatures. My wife, a professional, says she would never dress herself up in a little black dress, and indeed never did when she was single. She believes dressing in that manner devalues her.

    So is there are right way to think, or can we acknowledge that people are actually allowed to have differing thoughts on this matter?

    I think the article seems to be fluff piece aimed at the sisterhood, and to put men on notice she does not want her boundaries crossed. But when she was younger and in the industry, where was her actual line in the sand? If it was crossed, surely she would have made the appropriate complaint/s?

  • Phenandra

    It happens quite a lot, but it’s your choice what to do about it. I never kept quiet nor refrained from retaliating, or at least not past the age of 13 or so.

    Women have a responsibility to deal to this type of behaviour, and not by “speaking out”, or appealing to other men to take care of them or other pathetic approaches. Stiletto to the instep if they are the sort that sneak up behind, and always, no matter how public, say loudly that they should keep their hands off your backside, or whatever. Go to the cops if you want.

    It stops it dead and affects the man’s reputation. Never failed me.

    If the chance of a career takes precedence over dealing to the behaviour, that’s your choice, and you made it, you should be ashamed of yourself, so stop whinging.

  • hookerphil

    ” the people doing the abusing are your friends” Are they really friends?
    “risking relationships with friends and colleagues,” And that’s worth continuing?

  • Korau

    I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the small group of identified men in this article (21 in a specific role) doesn’t lawyer up.

    Aspersions are easily cast, and by identifying a small group but no one in particular this will leave a nasty taste for any innocent (or gay) men.

  • Big fella

    If there are no names or she is not prepared to put up then shut up. It plainly did not happen. That’s the end of the story. Maybe the media will hound her for the names. I won’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

  • Dave

    Lets think about the harsh realities of what she has done, by NOT naming the actual perpetrators of this suggested sexual violence, she is actually casting the accusation against EVERY MALE in the industry. Ho many innocent men, married men even will have this cloud over them, how many wives will now be looking at their potentially very loving and innocent husbands thinking, did you do this as well? Its not good enough, she needs to either keep the mass slur to herself, or speak out and take the details to the only people that can stop this, both the Police, and the recording industry.

  • Lucy

    Have to say, I was disappointed with her column. It’s very easy to hide behind a keyboard and give her side of the story. More difficult to go to the police and give them a chance to defend themselves. Also her rant against ‘males’ that decide funding and the career progression of singers just sounded preposterous.
    Be ‘actually’ brave and go to the police or pipe down. She thinks she is make a difference? She’s making things worse.

  • kayaker

    Wow! This now puts every male in the music industry under suspicion. Our son-in-law is in the music industry, there’s no way he could be lumped in with this. In any event, the music industry is far and wide – countless genres and occupations. As one female to another – regardless of the circumstances, this is not a good look, Lizzie. You need to find another way to address this without tarring everyone who has been, and is, involved in the music industry with the same brush.

  • KatB

    She has an odd choice of friends if she is hanging around with people doing exactly what she is crying about. She’s prepared to let some abuse slip by if it means she can further her career, then when she’s got what she wants, she’ll blow the whistle, albeit rather cloak and dagger like. It’s stories like this that really harm getting sexual abuse dealt with properly. You read this and then think it must be trivial stuff she’s talking about and in doing so possibly trivialising real abuse. If it’s a pinch on the bottom type stuff she’s meaning, what happened to dealing with that there and then and putting the “abuser” in his place. Have us women became that delicate we can’t stand up for ourselves anymore? When I read this, all I could think is that she played the game too, to get what she wanted, no use taking the moral high ground now.

  • Boondecker

    One wonders why she stays in the music industry if it’s full of nasty creepy grabby men. Maybe she should do something genuinely useful with herself and join the Labour Party or something.

    It can’t be any worse than dropping fatuous innuendos and making unsubstantiated complaints in Herald articles once a week or month or whatever it is. Might help Labour too (although that’s a massive ask).

  • Jannie

    If what Lizzie Marvelly described happened to her are accurate, then those would be horrible experiences for her at a relatively young age and so frequently as well.
    Just to list the demeanours that she describes, they are:
    1) 20 YO. Manager puts hand on thigh (in front of another colleague). After Lizzie stands up, he grabs her arms and forces an open mouth kiss saying “come to bed with me”.
    2) 21 YO. Random artist grabs her on dance floor and shoves tongue down her throat after speaking “no more than two sentences to him”
    3) 23 YO. Married colleague whispers “Good Luck” after inappropriately touching of her shoulders and arms with his lips on the back of her neck and breathing down her back.
    4) 25 YO. Married friend strokes her thigh whilst sitting in a booth and continues to harass her by getting her to sit on his knee afterwards.
    I can almost understand that she may not have felt compelled to lay a police complaint as the actions she’s described from her “assailants” could be classified as (for want of a better word) “casual” sexual harassment or one off incidents where the victim would question whether it’s even worth their time laying a complaint, or that possibly she was worried about any repercussions on her singing career were she to complain. Perhaps she was young and naïve and didn’t want to cause trouble to the offending males?
    But there’s no way to know if Lizzie’s accounts are true or not unless a third party corroborates her version of events, so it would be interesting if there are any witnesses that can back her story up, because surely there would have been some people that witnessed these events, what with almost all the incidences happening in what would presumably have been busy events.