Burger Records has dissolved following a growing number of sexual misconduct allegations against executives and performers.
The Fullerton, CA indie-alternative label announced on Monday that the company would go through “major structural changes” in light of growing accusations. By Wednesday, however, the label had folded completely.
The saga began when an Instagram account, lured_by_burger_records, popped up over the weekend and began posting mostly anonymous accusations levied against Burger Records employees as well as bands signed to the label. Various Burger acts including The Growlers (who have since seen the departure of keyboardist Adam Wolcott Smith, who stated “I’m not innocent in abuse” in response to a claim from 2017), The Frights, The Buttertones, and SWMRS were all specifically named in allegations.
This week then saw the resignation of Burger co-founder Lee Rickard, as well as president Sean Bohram‘s announcement that he will step away from his role as head of the company and that he has appointed Jessa Zapor-Gray as interim president. Bohram stated that the company would institute major changes, including changing its name to BRGR RCRDS.
“We are also deeply sorry for the role Burger has played in perpetuating a culture of toxic masculinity,” the label said in a statement on Tuesday. “We are sorry that we did not actively monitor this behavior well enough to make the Burger music scene safer for you.”
The following day Zapor-Gray announced that she would also be stepping down from her role as BRGR’s new president. She said in a statement,
When I was asked to take over in this capacity, I expected some blowback for my decision to accept but I believed that the opportunity to have a role in effecting real and lasting positive change within the Burger and indie music scenes was worth the risk. Upon further review, I have informed Burger Records that I no longer believe I will be able to achieve my intended goals in assuming the leadership role at Burger in the current climate. Therefore, I have decided to step away from the label entirely to focus on my other projects.
After a period of not responding to questions from reporters, Zapor-Gray then revealed on Wednesday that the entire operation had shut down. She offered few details when pressed by Pitchfork, saying only that “We decided to fold the label.” When asked if the company would still continue under the BRGR RCRDS flag, she responded “nope.” Asked for further comment, she replied with a “that’s all folks” GIF of Porky Pig.
Borham has since stated that all of Burger’s releases will be removed from platforms, and that each individual act will be given the decision of how to distribute their music.
“I hate dealing with lawyers so we never signed contracts with bands,” he said in an email to Pitchfork.
All of Burger Records’ social media accounts have since been taken down. Total Trash Productions, who have partnered with Burger for the annual Burger Boogaloo festival in Oakland, have since cut ties with the now-defunct label, and have announced plans to rename the festival.