[Blind Gossip] In an interview with Grazia Daily, the three sisters who make up the girl band Haim detailed how a dispute over how much they were being paid compared to a male singer led to them firing their agent.
Haim: Why We Fired Our Agent Over Equal Pay
‘I still get so many people asking me, “So who really writes your songs?” A lot of people automatically accept the fact that an all-male band writes their own songs, but when they see an all-woman band they’re like, “Oh there must be a man behind it, fuelling their fire.”’
They’re patently aware of just how lucky they are to have each other (‘We’re a fortress,’ says Este, 32). Yet they’ve still repeatedly been burnt by a sexist industry – especially when it’s come to equal pay. Last year, they found out they had been paid 10 times less than a male artist at a festival – despite being just one space below on the line-up.
‘We had been told that our fee was very low because you played at the festival in the hope that you’d get played on the radio,’ explains Danielle. ‘We didn’t think twice about it, but we later found out that someone was getting paid 10 times more than us. And because of that we fired our agent.’
Alana, suddenly searingly serious adds, ‘That’s why I love my sisters so much. I trust them with my fucking life. We’re all in this together. But it’s scary out there and it’s fucked up. It’s fucked up not even to be paid half the same amount. But to be paid a tenth of that amount of money? It was insane.’
It’s the first time the girls have disclosed the incident, and they’re clearly still furious. The worst part, Danielle goes on, is that they can’t even be sure it won’t happen again. ‘It’s so hard to check: everything’s so secretive about how much people are getting paid, and that’s bullshit.’
This pay disparity dispute took place at an unknown festival. Which male artist received ten times more than them?
[Optional] Is the expression “10 times less” mathematically accurate?