UPDATE: Burger Records To End All Operations After Sexual Misconduct Allegations
In the wake of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against employees and artists affiliated with the label, Burger Records will cease operation entirely.
Burger Records co-founder Sean Bohrman announced on Tuesday night that the label will not proceed with plans to change leadership and branding and will instead shut down.
On Monday, the label announced that co-founder and president Lee Rickard had resigned and that Bohram planned to transition out of his leadership role at the label.
At the same time, they announced a rebrand from Burger Records to BRGR, and said that veteran label marketing exec Jessa Zapor-Gray would be stepping in as an interim president for the label.
However, by Tuesday night, Zapor-Gray had backed away from that plan.
In a statement provided to Pitchfork, Zapor-Gray said:
“When I was asked to take over in this capacity, I expected some blowback for my decision to accept but I believed that the opportunity to have a role in effecting real and lasting positive change within the Burger and indie music scenes was worth the risk. Upon further review, I have informed Burger Records that I no longer believe I will be able to achieve my intended goals in assuming the leadership role at Burger in the current climate. Therefore, I have decided to step away from the label entirely to focus on my other projects.”
Bohrman told Pitchfork that the label had asked its distributor to pull all of its catalog from streaming services, but said that the label’s artists would be free to seek to have them re-listed, noting that Burger’s artists own all of their music.
“I hate dealing with lawyers so we never signed contracts with bands,” he told the publication.
Founded in 2007, the label, which distributed primarily via cassette, also operated a retail outlet that regularly hosted concerts by up-and-coming indie artists.
Last weekend, an Instagram page started accumulating account of sexual misconduct against employees and artists on the label, with many accusers painting a grim picture of an environment of “toxic masculinity” around Burger’s live shows.
Many of the allegations collected on the Instagram page were second hand and anonymous, but some accusers revealed their names, including Clementine Creevy, frontwoman of the L.A.-based band Cherry Glazerr who accused fellow musician Sean Redman, who was formerly a member of the Buttertones, of cultivating a sexual relationship with her when she was 14 and he 20.
“As a young teenage girl, I witnessed a culture of predatory, misogynistic, and abusive behavior towards women by Sean, some of his bandmates in the Buttertones, and other men in their circle. I want to say with no conditionality whatsoever that this is not atypical of the music scene,” Creevey wrote in a statement. “Countless women I know have had experiences like mine with male musicians and it is heartbreaking and infuriating that young girls wanting to play music or see music should ever have to endure being sexualized by older male musicians in the scene–it is disgusting and it needs to end now.”
The Buttertones have since deleted their social media and according to Brooklyn Media, they were dropped by their label Innovative Leisure. We were unable to reach Mr. Redman for comment.