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Boss of US music lobbying group resigns over sexual harassment allegations

By | Published on Thursday 23 November 2017

Content Creators Coalition

The boss of US music industry lobbying organisation the Content Creators Coalition, aka C3, which has been pushing for copyright reforms Stateside, has resigned following allegations of sexual harassment.

Jeff Boxer, an attorney by trade, announced his resignation after American musician Rosy Nolan published a blog post on Tuesday making accusations against the C3 chief.

In the piece, posted on Medium, Nolan wrote that last year she arranged to volunteer at the Americana Fest festival and conference in Nashville via C3. As part of that arrangement, she was told that Boxer would find her a place to stay but that, on arrival, she discovered that meant “a foam mattress on the living room floor of HIS Airbnb”.

Nolan writes: “Upon landing in Nashville, I was surprised that he personally picked me up at the airport and told me that he had made plans for ‘us’. He took me to dinner and a concert but it felt increasingly odd to me with each passing hour, like we were on a date, not at all like we were friendly colleagues hanging out”.

Eventually she found out about her accommodation. “It became irrefutably clear that I’d been duped and manipulated”, she says.

“My trip was a complete bust. Jeffrey Boxer had lied to me and I was in an extremely vulnerable position. There had been months for these accommodations to be arranged and he had assured me that they had been. I quietly gathered my things and crept out of the apartment in the middle of the night, afraid that he would hear me leaving”.

Nolan continues: “The next morning, I immediately reported everything that had happened to Chelsea Crowell. Ms Crowell is the only female employee in the entire organisation of C3. She was incredibly sympathetic and utterly shocked to hear Jeff failed to provide me with my own accommodations as he had promised”.

But the organisation’s official response was not so helpful. The musician says that she was subsequently told, via email a year later, that an investigation had been undertaken. But, she adds, she was not consulted as part of this investigation. Concluding, she writes: “After fourteen months of making my sexual harassment report to C3, Jeffrey Boxer still holds his position at the organisation and no action has been taken to prevent him from doing this again that I’m aware of”.

Responding to the blog post, the board of C3 yesterday issued the following statement. “The executive board of Content Creators Coalition is deeply troubled by reports of sexual misconduct by our Executive Director, Jeff Boxer. We convened an emergency board meeting today, and have accepted Mr Boxer’s resignation”.

The board then also confirmed it had received complaints about Boxer from two other women, including the aforementioned Crowell. Its statement continued: “C3 exists to advocate and champion fair treatment, empathy and respect for artists, and that advocacy extends to all human beings. We offer our most sincere apologies to the three women who came forward with their stories. We deeply regret their suffering. We should have done better in listening to them and championing them. We will do better. We take this opportunity in the young life of our organisation to re-commit to our ideals of respect, compassion, equality and transparency”.

Following the board’s announcement, Boxer also issued a statement. He said: “It is with great regret that I announce my resignation today as Executive Director of the Content Creators Coalition. While I never intended to make anyone uncomfortable and believed I was acting professionally at all times, I recognise that was not the case”.

“To Rosy Nolan, Tessa Lena, and my former colleague Chelsea Crowell, I am deeply sorry for making you feel personally uncomfortable and professionally unappreciated. I respect your choice to speak out, just as I would encourage any woman or man who has felt mistreated to step forward. My decades fighting for working people and workplace justice requires nothing less, even in these circumstances”.

He concludes: “At this point, I refuse to become a distraction or drain on the efforts of C3 and all its members to fight for artists’ rights and fair treatment for all music creators. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as Executive Director of this great organisation”.