DJ Mag Apologizes for Not Including Women on Anniversary Cover: "How Many Should There Have Been?"

Carl Loben has penned a response following backlash to the magazine's 25th anniversary edition.

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Apr 28 2016, 10:00pm

The editor of DJ Mag, the British monthly dance music publication, has issued a feeble apology for the decision to not feature any women on the cover of its 25th anniversary edition.

Writing on the Huffington Post, Carl Loben, explained why the magazine, which has a print circulation of 35,000 according to its website, decided not to feature any women in its retrospective of the most pioneering moments in the last 25 years of DJing.

"For the 25th anniversary of DJ Mag, we had some very distinct criteria to be one of the chosen 25 pioneers," he wrote in the post titled "Who Are the Women Pioneers of Dance Music?" According to Loben, to make the cut, the person had to have been a DJ or producer on the cover of DJ Mag in the past 25 years, and had to "have pioneered something that's changed the landscape of the scene within the past quarter of a century."

In a lengthy explanation of the criteria the editors used to determine these pioneers, he lamented how challenging it would have been to include women, as that would have meant bumping the real pioneers off the list. "Should Sister Bliss from live dance act Faithless be in there? But then we'd have to replace Liam Howlett from The Prodigy," he said.

The actual apology comes eight paragraphs in. "For that reason, I now believe it was a mistake not to include any women on our 25th birthday cover. It's not a great look to have such a 'sausage-fest' (a load of forty- and fifty-something blokes), especially now that increasing numbers of women are DJing, producing, promoting, managing, running labels and so on more than ever."

Loben concluded his post by noting that it's "good to debate this things sometimes," and solicits the readers for their input on the matter. He asked: "How many should there have been?"

DJ Mag came under fire yesterday for its anniversary special, with members of the electronic community calling out the magazine for what was widely perceived as poor editorial judgment in excluding women from the list. Chicago-based house DJ The Black Madonna, as well as Beatport Media's Vice President (and former THUMP Editor-in-Chief) Zel McCarthy were among the many to level strong criticism against DJ Mag's editors for the call.


This isn't the first time DJ Mag has been criticized for its representation of women in its magazine. Last year's top 100 list of DJs included very few women; DJ Mag tried to explain it by asking the top DJs why they thought this was, eliciting a slew of responses that ranged from sensible to downright sexist.

Anna Codrea-Rado is THUMP's News Editor, she's on Twitter.