Four Corners: Oct 11

On the next Four Corners, former industry employees break their silence on the Sony Music scandal.

Monday’s Four Corners a report by Grace Tobin sees former Sony Music employees breaking their silence on the company under the reign of former CEO Denis Handlin.

“I don’t think anywhere else in the world you would have a CEO of a music company with that much power.” Former Sony employee, 2000s

In June this year, one of Australia’s biggest record companies, Sony Music, rocked the music world when it announced the sacking of its long-time CEO, Denis Handlin.

“Denis Handlin and my incredible crew at Sony – I wouldn’t have a career without you.” Amy Shark, singer

Denis Handlin doesn’t look like the picture of a rock and roll god but for decades the Sony Music CEO and industry chair was one of the most powerful men in Australian music. When the stars came out to celebrate they always sang his praises. But behind the smiles, the industry had a secret.

“I think a lot of people feel fear when they hear that name.” Former Sony Music employee, 2010s

His reign came to an end four months ago when he was fired as the company announced an investigation into its “workplace culture”.

“I was stunned actually. I thought he had operated with such impunity for so long that I just couldn’t believe that it had actually happened.” Former music industry employee, 1980’s

Now Four Corners can reveal the inside story of Sony Music, where fear and intimidation stalked the corridors for decades.

“It’s always been a massive story that has been waiting to come out, and could never come out while Denis was still at the helm, because people were so scared.” Former snr Sony employee, 2000s

Former Sony Music employees are breaking their silence to expose what they endured for so many years.

“I felt targeted, I felt manipulated, and I certainly felt abused. There’s only so much you can put up with.” Former Sony employee, 1990s

There is nothing glamorous about the picture that emerges of this music making machine, where appalling behaviour was normalised and covered up.

“There was a sense that he was untouchable.” Former Sony executive, 2000s

Many who worked in this toxic environment say those who allowed this to go on should also be held to account.

“I think the thing that has upset most of us, was that New York said, ‘Oh, we just found out about this problem, this has just come to light.’ That myth has to be challenged.” Former Sony executive, 1980s

Monday 11th October at 8.30pm on ABC.

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