Ex-Michael Jackson Guitarist Jennifer Batten Believes She Didn’t Get A Job In Ozzy Osbourne’s Band Due To Her Gender

Jennifer Batten: gumdropgas, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikipedia / Ozzy Osbourne: Ozzy Osbourne Facebook
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Jennifer Batten is one hell of a talented guitarist who took part in three world tours as part of Michael Jackson’s band. But even as successful as she has been throughout her career, she has had to deal with a whole lot of bullshit sexism. In a new interview with Ultimate Guitar, Batten speaks to the past sexism she has had to endure and navigate.

In reflecting on those struggles, she ends up talking about auditions taking place for Ozzy Osbourne‘s band back in the day (which she did audition for). However, she believes that she did not get the job because of her being a woman. Here is what Jennifer had to share exactly (pertaining to her navigating sexism in the music industry and auditioning for Ozzy’s band):

“I’ve gotten comments over the years. A lot of guys will say you, ‘You play pretty good for a girl.’ Or, the best one, this guy said, ‘You play just like a boy.’ What does that even mean? Yeah, millions of male guitar players, some are great and some suck, so it has no meaning. But you kind of have to look at the energy that’s coming at you, and he meant it as a positive thing.

“I remember, specifically, before the Jackson thing came up, I was trying to get an audition with Ozzy Osbourne. And they were of auditioning everybody in LA at the time. And I know my audio got to the right people, and I didn’t even get a chance. Looking back, it’s a super macho gig, and they probably wouldn’t even consider a female for that. Having said that, if it was the same thing today, I think it’d be a whole different story. You get somebody like Nili Brosh – you could slay in a gig like that. She has incredible chops, great tone, great attitude, everything. It’s a different world. It is a very different world now.”

What do you make of Jennifer’s comments? Do you think things have changed much for female and non-male identifying artists today?

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