California label Burger Records has announced a series of “major structural changes” intended to address a “culture of toxic masculinity.” The shift follows a series of anonymous sexual misconduct allegations directed at the company’s artists and employees.
Burger co-founder and president Lee Rickard has resigned. Co-founder Sean Bohrman told Pitchfork that he has moved into a “transitional” role and will eventually step down to assist interim president Jessa Zapor-Gray. The label detailed plans to rebrand itself BRGR RECS and launch an all-woman imprint, BRGRRRL.
“We extend our deepest apologies to anyone who has suffered irreparable harm from any experience that occurred in the Burger and indie/DIY music scene, the latter of which we take part,” the label wrote in a statement. “We are also deeply sorry for the role Burger has played in perpetuating a culture of toxic masculinity.”
The company admitted that “words can only go so far in repairing any damage that has been created.” They continued, “It is the ability to put past behaviors under a microscope, and to fully listen to those who have suffered as a result of such behaviors, in order to be able to truly make meaningful changes so that not only do those behaviors no longer occur, but real positive change can be made to meet the moment.”
Burger also pledged to create a fund “to help pay for counseling services for those who suffered such trauma while engaging in the Burger scene.” The label said they will “evaluate the whole of the existing label catalog and artists therein, discontinuing the distribution of artists according to our zero-tolerance policy.”
The label issued an earlier statement on Saturday, addressing accusations made against multiple, unspecified artists for “engaging in the grooming of underage girls for sex, relationships built on power imbalance, and the solicitation of pornography from minors.”
Prior to Burger’s announcement of internal changes, the Regrettes’ Lydia Night posted a statement accusing SWMRS drummer Joey Armstrong of sexual misconduct. The label issued a cassette edition of SWMRS’ 2016 LP, Drive North.