Halsey has spoken out about the demeaning treatment they endured as pregnant person working in the mainstream music industry.
Halsey has just released their new album If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power. It’s their fourth studio album and arrives fewer than 18 months after the artist’s third effort, Manic, which went Platinum in the US and Gold in Australia.
If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power is Halsey’s most ambitious release to date. The pop singer gave birth to their first child in July, 2021 and they’ve said the album lyrics reflect the “joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth.” Meanwhile, Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross acted as the album’s producers and co-writers.
Speaking to Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Halsey described how they were made to feel shame for deciding to have a baby while their career was going so well. Halsey didn’t name names, but described how they had to assure various industry CEOs their pregnancy wouldn’t interfere with the executives’ plans for capitalising on the success of Manic.
“You have to call the CEO of X, Y, Z and say, Hey, hi, I’m just calling to let you know, I’m pregnant. I didn’t want you to find out on Instagram,” they said. “I wanted to tell you myself, personally. It’s still business as usual over here though, don’t worry. My personal choice isn’t going to affect your profitability or your productivity or your assembly line.”
Halsey’s treatment by the sections of the entertainment media wasn’t much better. “We were going out and trying to set up magazine covers based around the album release,” they said. “And they were like, ‘Yeah, but is she going to be pregnant? Because, like, we don’t want to do a maternity cover.’
“And I was like, ‘It’s not a maternity cover; it’s about my album, I just happen to be pregnant. And they’re like, ‘No, it’s a pregnant cover.’” You can watch the full hour-long interview below.