Severo apologizes to mall but insists on artists’ compensation
MANILA, Philippines — Spoken word poet and actor Juan Miguel Severo has apologized to the mall that asked him to perform in exchange for free food, but he remained firm in his stand that artists should be given compensation for their services.
“Hello again. First of all, I wanna apologize for the way I snapped at you. I know you’re just doing your job and I didn’t realize I was shooting the messenger. I’m sorry,” Severo wrote Sunday in a Twitter post.
About that mall:
They replied to my messages and this was what I had to say. Posting this here because I know this issue is ever-recurring for artists of every discipline.
I appreciate your sound suggestions on how I could’ve handled the situation better. Thanks! :) pic.twitter.com/zIMmLsqEw4
— Juan Miguel Severo 🏳️🌈 (@TheRainBro) August 4, 2019
Last week, he shared on his Twitter account he had been invited to perform for a Buwan ng Wika event to celebrate the Filipino language. In return, he was offered a free meal and a chance to “further promote” his craft.
Severo stood firm on his stand that artists should not be taken advantage and should be compensated for their services.
“That said — and this goes out to your superiors — I remain firm in my stand. Artists should not be taken advantage, exploited and given less than they’re due, especially by big companies and corporations under which establishments such as yours belong,” Severo said.
He also acknowledged he did not give them a chance to “properly negotiate” their terms, but he stressed “politeness isn’t owed when asserting how things should be in the first place (i.e. artists are to be compensated for their services.)”
“When you invite artists, do so without the assumption that this set up (food is guaranteed but pay only if the artist asks) is acceptable; it is not,” Severo said.
“When the event is funded by a company with your means, it definitely is not. Trust me, if an artist wants to waive their fee, they will offer to do so. But if you truly want to support an art form, support the artists. Make paying them your default,” he added.
Severo declined the invitation.
He made a plea, however, that fellow artists would be given the chance to perform with the proper compensated.
“I know that you invited other members of our small, tightly-knit community as well and I would love it if they are given the chance to promote the art form and the languages we so love, while also earning from it,” he said.
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