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Warner investigate alleged sexual misconduct in the US, as Australian promoter sacked over harassment claims

By | Published on Monday 18 December 2017

Warner Bros Records

Warner Music Group in the US is reportedly taking disciplinary action against two Warner Bros Records executives – including EVP A&R Jeff Fenster – over accusation of sexual misconduct. Meanwhile, Australian concert promoter Dave Cutbush has been fired from independent touring company Life Is Noise following multiple accusations of sexual harassment.

According to Billboard, a former WBR employee recently came forward with accusations against Fenster and another executive. She is also said to have accused WMG CEO Stephen Cooper of once making an inappropriate comment at a party.

In a statement, Warner Music said: “We are grateful to a former Warner Bros Records employee for coming forward to raise these concerns with us. We appointed an independent investigator to conduct a thorough, in-depth investigation, as a consequence of which we are taking the appropriate disciplinary actions. The findings have also helped us identify areas where we can improve the enforcement of our policies and bolster our efforts to maintain a safe, respectful, and professional environment for all of our employees”.

Warner Music Sweden also recently conducted an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations, resulting in the firing of a senior executive.

Meanwhile, in Australia, Dave Cutbush was fired on Friday, following the emergence of numerous claims about his conduct. These came following the recent launch of the #meNOmore campaign by a group of over 300 women working in the Australian music industry.

In a statement, Life Is Noise co-owner Jack Midalia said: “I’d like to respond to recent reports of unacceptable behaviour towards women by company director, Dave Cutbush. I take these reports seriously, and deeply apologise for not providing the safe space that the women in our industry deserve. Dave will no longer have any involvement or association with Life Is Noise, effective immediately”.

After being fired, Cutbush issued a lengthy statement addressing the accusations – confirming the accuracy of one, that he had propositioned a sixteen year old girl, directly.

“It is true that in the past I have acted poorly and in a manner that is inappropriate and sleazy”, he wrote. “Using my male privilege to gain sexual favours has been disrespectful towards women. I have used my position in the music industry to my advantage. I have propositioned women much younger than me and have behaved creepily in person at music events and online”.

He added: “Whilst I have acted shamefully and said things I regret, I have at no stage physically or sexually abused anyone. This is something of which I am certain. Any allegations to the contrary are untrue”.

Confirming his departure as a Director of Life Is Noise, he said that he would now seek “treatment for substance abuse problems” and “educate myself to be a more compassionate human and show more respect to women”.

Despite Cutbush’s departure from the company, a number of acts have cancelled Australia and New Zealand tours being promoted by Life Is Noise. Sleep, Chelsea Wolfe and Wolves In The Throne Room have all cancelled planned dates in 2018.