Today, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a hearing, "From Imus to Industry: The Business of Stereotypes and Degrading Images."
The hearing will focus on "the impact of racist and sexist language and images transmitted via interstate commerce and telecommunications modes, the perpetuation of damaging stereotypes and how best to protect consumers from the increasingly coarse and vulgar language and images that have the effect of undermining important moral values in our society. This hearing will explore these issues in the context of commercial hip hop music and video games, and their impact on popular culture and young people."
Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Bobby L. Rush said:
I respect the First Amendment, but rights without responsibility is anarchy, and that's much of what we have now. It's time for responsible people to stand up and accept responsibility.
There will be three panels: industry, artists, and women advocates, activists and academics. The witnesses include:
Philipe P. Dauman, President and CEO, Viacom International
Edgar Bronfman Jr., President and CEO, Warner Music Group
Doug Morris, President and CEO, Universal Music Group
Alfred C. Liggins III, President and CEO, Radio One
Percy Miller, aka "Master P"
Levell Crump, aka David Banner
Michael Eric Dyson, Ph.D.
Tracy Denean Sharpley-Whiting, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
E. Faye Williams, Ph.D., Chair, National Congress of Black Women
Lisa Fager, President, Industry Ears
Karen Dill, Ph.D., Lenoir-Rhyne College
The hearing is happening because the Women for Dignity and Diversity in the Media Coalition made it happen. For months, activists worked behind the scenes with Rep. Rush's staff to put racism and sexism in the media on the congressional agenda, as well as help identify witnesses.