News October 12, 2021

ARIA releases statement in the wake of Four Corners’ Sony Music report as artists stay quiet

ARIA releases statement in the wake of Four Corners’ Sony Music report as artists stay quiet

The record industry’s peak body ARIA has released a short statement following the ABC’s lengthy investigation into the workplace culture at Sony Australia.

The episode delved into the fall of Sony Music Australia’s CEO Denis Handlin, as well as the toxic culture within the organisation.

It was watched by 602,000 metro viewers overnight.

Following the episode last night, ARIA released a three-sentence statement emphasising the importance of safety at work and equality within the industry.

“No one should feel unsafe, harassed, discriminated against, or bullied in the workplace,” it said.

“ARIA will continue to work towards safety, inclusion and equality across the including through the cultural change process that was started in May this year.

“We will listen to the voices that need to be heard and provide our wholehearted support every step of the way.”

The industry body kicked off a process of cultural change this year, holding an initial meeting in May as a first step to address the ’s catastrophic sexual assault, harassment and abuse problem.

Initially, the ‘closed door’ meeting was met with some criticism and backlash as artists who had been taking personal and professional risks by speaking out were not invited to attend.

From there, however, more industry representatives, including independent artist Jaguar Jonze, were invited to attend and have their voices heard.

The working group then met and put together a plan for further action, including seeking workplace safety and cultural change experts, and releasing its Temporary Working Group Charter.

Since then, Handlin has been sacked from Sony Music Australia and thus relinquished his role as chair of the ARIA board.

He was replaced by the ABC’s Natalie Waller in July.

In contrast to ARIA, Sony Music’s roster of artists have thus far remained silent on the Handlin fallout.

The executive of Four Corners, Sally Neighbour, said the program had contacted many Sony artists, but none of them would speak on the record.

Journalist Lucy Carter also revealed the program spoke to 117 former and current Sony staff both on and off the record.

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