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News October 12, 2021

‘Distressing and disheartening’: APRA AMCOS issues statement on Sony Music

Editorial Operations Manager
‘Distressing and disheartening’: APRA AMCOS issues statement on Sony Music

APRA AMCOS has issued a statement this afternoon in response to last night’s Four Corners episode which tackled the rise and fall of long-serving former Sony Music CEO Denis Handlin.

The statement doesn’t mention Handlin by name, however notes that the episode was “distressing and disheartening viewing”.

The organisation also used the statement as an opportunity to outline some initiatives it is working on in the equality and harm prevention space.

“APRA AMCOS wants to be part of a music industry that upholds a high level of professional respect, conduct and integrity, and does not condone any form of discrimination, harassment or bullying,” the statement said.

“We recognise and accept there’s still much more work to do in this space.”

The organisation – which represents songwriters, composers and music publishers – said doing work in this arena had never been more urgent or necessary.

“Bullying and sexual harassment in the music industry is not inevitable, it is not acceptable. It is preventable and APRA AMCOS is committed to working with our industry so that we can collectively bring about this shift in culture,” it said.

APRA AMCOS noted it had recently committed to an Equity Action Plan which speaks to its desire to have a safer, more inclusive and more respectful music industry.

In addition, it is undertaking a review of its Sexual Harassment & Harm Prevention Framework to ensure anyone associated with APRA AMCOS, including award recipients, respect others, and act lawfully, safely and responsibly.

It noted: “Allegations such as those made in Four Corners last night are being considered seriously as part of this review.”

APRA AMCOS awarded Handlin the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music in 2009. Today’s statement did not mention the award or if Handlin would retain it.

This afternoon, QMusic stripped Handlin of his special Honorary Award from 2020, saying it could not allow the celebration of his career to stand.

You can watch the full Four Corners episode below:

How did we get here? A timeline of Sony Music Australia’s upheaval 

12 April: Tony Glover sacked by Sony Music Australia over allegations of inappropriate behaviour
15 June: 
Sony Music Australia under investigation by head office for harassment & bullying
21 June: Sony Music Australia and New Zealand CEO Denis Handlin to depart
22 June: 5 questions that need answering after Denis Handlin’s exit
23 June: 
Sony Music’s Pat Handlin & Mark Stebnicki stood down as work culture investigation continues
24 June: ‘It is time for change’: Denis Handlin sends note to Sony Music Australia staff
24 June: Lawyers who previously represented Titus Day in battle against Guy Sebastian could bring class action against Sony Music Australia
28 June: Inside the Australian music industry’s toxic underbelly
12 July: Law firm considering class action against Sony Music Australia inundated with responses
26 August: Everybody Knows: A five-part investigation into Australia’s toxic music industry launches
31 August: Inside the investigation that will expose Australia’s music industry
1 September: Denis Handlin speaks: ‘I would never tolerate treating women in an inappropriate manner’
24 September: Wayne Ringrow departs Sony Music Australia
11 October: ‘Systemic bullying, discrimination & misconduct’: Over 100 people break their silence on Sony Music Australia
12 October: Sacked Sony executive Tony Glover denies sexual harassment allegations & says he was a ‘scapegoat’
12 October: Four Corners episode investigating Sony Music watched by 602,000 metro viewers
12 October: ARIA releases statement in the wake of Four Corners’ Sony Music report as artists stay quiet
12 October: QMusic revokes Denis Handlin’s honorary award


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