After several women came forward to accuse Republic Records president Charlie Walk of sexual misconduct and harassment, the record label—whose artists include Ariande Grande, Demi Lovato, Lorde, and The Weeknd—has “mutually agreed to part ways” with Walk.
As reported by the New York Times, Republic released a statement Wednesday night announcing Walk’s departure. In January, Tristan Coopersmith, who worked under Walk at Columbia Records from 2004 to 2005, wrote an open letter alleging the longtime record executive had made “lewd comments” to her about her body; touched her inappropriately, and, in one instance, “cornered [her] and pushed [her] into [his] bedroom and onto [his] bed.” Coopersmith later alleged that she received “dozens of messages” from women who had similarly experienced harassment from Walk, and in February at least five more women told Rolling Stone Walk had harassed them, sent them unsolicited lewd photos, and/or inappropriately touched them.
“[His behavior] was always an open secret,” a former Republic Records employee told Rolling Stone. “Everyone had been touched inappropriately or spoken to inappropriately by him. It just became part of the culture.”
Walk was placed on leave shortly after Coopersmith’s allegations came to light, via the popular music industry blog the Lefsetz Letter, and the label launched an investigation into the executive’s conduct. Walk also resigned from his role as a judge on the FOX reality singing competition The Four. It’s unclear what Republic Records’s investigation yielded, but now, Walk is out. Coopersmith told the Times news of Walk’s departure was “definitely a move in the right direction toward eliminating sexual harassment in the workplace,” and noted that she was “so grateful and congratulatory to the women who came out after me and shared their truth.”
“It’s really scary to talk about this stuff, especially if you’re still in the industry,” she said.