News January 25, 2021

Warner Music sacks Scott Maclachlan following sexual harassment investigation

Warner Music sacks Scott Maclachlan following sexual harassment investigation

Scott Maclachlan, one-time Lorde manager, has been sacked by Warner Music over sexual harassment incidents in Australia and New Zealand.

New Zealand outlet Stuff reported that Warner Music terminated his employment on Sunday (January 24) after a former employee of Maclachlan’s management company in Auckland opened up with allegations.

Warner Music Australasia hired him in 2018 as senior vice president for A&R after the global success of Lorde.

He discovered her as a 13-year old in 2009 when at Universal Music NZ.

Within five months of Warner’s hire, Maclachlan was banned from its Australian offices after an external investigation into a sexual harassment complaint.

At the time, Warner thought it an isolated incident. Maclachlan was demoted but stayed on as an A&R specialist in Auckland.

Stuff stated that due privacy concerns, very few Warner NZ staff were aware of the Australian controversy.

However the major moved quickly after more indiscretions emerged as a result of a Stuff #MeTooNZ investigation on the weekend.

Amy Goldsmith, who worked at Maclachlan’s Auckland-based Saiko Management, revealed he’d sexually harassed and emotionally manipulated her during her time there.

“He would insinuate he wanted more [than their professional relationship], he would comment on my body, he would ask whether I wanted to kiss him. Most of the time I just told him to shut up.”

Maclachlan admitted to Stuff her claims were true.

He said he was in intensive psychotherapy and was trying “to live a simpler, less egotistical life”.

Maclachlan admitted to “stupid, insensitive and ignorant comments” to women in the industry, including asking them if they wanted sexual contact with him, and making comments about their bodies.

“There’s not a day goes by that I don’t regret the harm I have caused people around me and most importantly the pain and embarrassment I have caused my wife and children.

“I have to live with that guilt, knowing that people I worked with have also endured pain and stress because of my actions.”

A Sydney-based Warner Music spokesperson confirmed Maclachlan’s employment had been terminated, adding the major was committed to “providing a safe, professional environment for all our team”.

“Our Code of Conduct is very clear regarding harassment of any kind. All allegations are treated seriously and action is taken if any employee’s behaviour has breached that code.

“We investigated what we believed to be an isolated incident in 2018, with the assistance of an external expert, and we went further than they advised with disciplinary actions.

“Now that we’ve learned about these additional incidents, we’ve terminated Scott Maclachlan’s employment contract with immediate effect.”

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