Live Nation has promised to double the number of black executives it employs by 2025, as part of a broader series of “diversity commitments.”
Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino outlined the executive-employment pledge – and several other company-wide initiatives – in an open letter, which addressed “Live Nation employees around the world.” Dated July 9th (when it was presumably circulated to team members), this open letter was publicly published today.
“Recent events in the U.S. and around the world have sparked overdue reflection on racism and discrimination in our societies, as well as here at Live Nation,” the letter reads. “We are committing to take steps to ensure that everyone in our community – employees, artists, and fans – is valued, respected, and treated equitably.”
The first commitment described in the letter concerns the executive-employment promise and other representation-centered undertakings. “We plan to nominate more Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and women candidates [to the Board of Directors] as we strive towards having at least 30% of our directors be diverse by 2025,” the letter indicates.
Leadership representation specifics will vary from country to country “to acknowledge local dynamics and best serve each region,” per the letter. In the U.S., however, the Beverly Hills-based concert promoter intends to double its “Black leadership representation” – as well as up its “overall racially/ethnically diverse leadership representation to 30%” – before 2025’s start.
The letter also notes that Live Nation plans to invest $10 million in “new programs focused on developing, promoting and hiring Black and underrepresented talent” internationally. Additionally, the text outlines Live Nation’s commitment to broadening “the range of artists we promote around the globe,” including by “investing in more music ventures, as well as festivals, tours, and programs that empower Black, Latin, female and other underserved groups.”
Lastly, the letter briefly describes Live Nation’s commitment to boosting spending with black and minority-owned vendors, to “amplifying social justice causes” at live shows, and to promoting “ongoing accountability” within its offices.
It bears mentioning that this collection of “diversity commitments” arrives in the wake of a newly filed racial discrimination lawsuit from a Live Nation employee. In the legal complaint, furloughed tour manager Candace Newman accuses Live Nation of “systemic racism,” including allegedly denying her promotions and allegedly paying her less than non-minority employees (“Ms. Newman was underpaid one-third to forty percent less than her non-Black and/or male peers,” the filing states).
At the time of this writing, Live Nation hadn’t publicly commented on Candace Newman’s lawsuit.