Fullerton, California-based indie record label Burger Records (now known as BRGR RECS) has apologized for “perpetuating a culture of toxic masculinity,” in addition to unveiling an array of internal changes, after being named in several sexual misconduct allegations.
Burger Records officials recently announced the far-reaching pivot in a mass email, though it’s unclear exactly how many individuals and outlets received the message. Addressed to the “Burger community,” the roughly 700-word-long text begins with multiple apologies from the company “to anyone who has suffered irreparable harm from any experience that occurred in the Burger and indie/DIY music scene.” Also, the open letter details the “major structural changes” that Burger intends to implement moving forward.
For additional background, it appears that the sexual misconduct allegations at the heart of the Burger Records changes emerged on social media during the last few days. One individual <a” href=”https://twitter.com/lenins_gf/status/1284338257317134336/photo/1″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>alleges to have been “preyed on and groomed” as a minor by Phil Salina – who “was in a band (Love Cop) of Gnar Tapes and Burger Records,” per the accuser. Furthermore, a newly created Instagram account (called <a” href=”https://www.instagram.com/lured_by_burger_records/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>”Lured by Burger Records”) indicates that it is “dedicated to amplifying voices and supporting those who were victims of sexual predation by predators involved with Burger Records.”
A number of alleged victims have relayed their experiences stemming from BRGR RECS on this Instagram page, and at the time of this writing, the account had garnered more than 15,000 followers. One of the Burger Records bands accused of sexual misconduct, The Growlers, has denied the allegations on social media.
In terms of the changes resulting from these sexual misconduct allegations, Burger Records has been renamed BRGR RECS, and cofounder “Sean Bohrman will move into a transitional role with the label.” The label’s president (and fellow cofounder), Lee Rickard, has stepped down, and Jessa Zapor-Gray is filling the position on an interim basis. (As an aside, the “Lured by Burger Records” Instagram account claimed that Zapor-Gray “tried and failed to silence us.”)
BRGR RECS is also establishing an “all-woman imprint,” BRGRRRL, adding “clear statements regarding unlawful and predatory behavior” to its artist agreements, and “working with experts in trauma and sexual assault awareness,” according to the announcement email. Lastly, the brand has cut ties with its namesake record store, which “will no longer have any affiliation to the label and will change its name,” and intends to “have a dedicated safe space for women to enjoy music without fear of invasion to their personal space” at all of its future events and functions.
Despite the apology and the planned alterations to BRGR RECS’ operations, many artists and fans are continuing to criticize the company. Plus, several Burger acts are distancing themselves from the controversial entity.
Earlier this afternoon, for instance, rock duo The Garden stated that it will “be cutting all ties with Burger Records forever.”
The members of pop-punk band Bleached, for their part, have announced that they “can no longer affiliate ourselves with Burger Records.”
BRGR RECS hasn’t yet responded to these social media posts, and its Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts appear to have been deleted.