Mel C – aka Melanie Chisholm – has revealed that the Spice Girls never encountered sexual harassment within the music industry because men were “petrified” of them.
Speaking on the Table Manners podcast, the singer – also known as Sporty Spice – discussed the #MeToo movement currently shaking up the entertainment industry, though she said that the Spice Girls were lucky enough to avoid being sexually harassed throughout the peak of their fame.
“It’s funny, because I get asked about the #MeToo movement a lot and that within the music industry and if I’ve ever experienced anything, and I was like, are you kidding me? No one would come near the Spice Girls because they were petrified by us,” she explained.
“I think often with these situations there can be vulnerable people that are targeted, aren’t there? Which, of course, there are some vulnerable people in Spice Girls, but because you knew if you mess with one of them, you would have to deal with the other four, so we always had backup,” she explained.
The singer also revealed that music labels were hesitant to take on an all-girl group, as they weren’t sure the formula would be successful.
“We started talking about girl power because we experienced sexism in the industry. Because we were just five girls, we wanted to be famous, we wanted to be pop stars, and quite quickly we were being told, ‘Yeah, girl bands don’t sell records, you can’t be on the cover of magazines because — girls buy records by boys.’ And we were like, ‘Seriously?'”
Mel C continued, “Don’t say that to the Spice Girls, that’s like red rag to a bull.”
“We had a really important point to prove, which was great because it put a fire in our belly … It became more than ‘girl power.’ It became ‘people power’; it became about equality,” she explained.
The Spice Girls became one of the most successful groups in the world, with their debut album Spice being 10 times certified platinum, making them the best-selling pop album ever by a female group and paving the way for the avalanche of female group acts that would follow in the decades after.