FOUR CORNERS exposes DENIS HANDLIN and Fear and Bullying at Sony Music
In June of this year, one of Australia’s biggest record companies, Sony Music, rocked the music world by announcing the sacking of its longtime CEO Denis Handlin.
“I don’t think anywhere else in the world would you have a CEO of a music company with that much power.” Former Sony employee, 2000s
Denis handlin doesn’t look like the image of a rock and roll god, but for decades the Sony Music CEO and industry chairman has been one of the most powerful men in Australian music. When the stars went out to celebrate, they always sang his praises. But behind the smiles, the industry had a secret.
“I think a lot of people are scared when they hear this name.” Former Sony Music employee, 2010s
His reign ended four months ago when he was sacked after the company announced an investigation into its “workplace culture.”
âI was actually stunned. I thought he had operated with such impunity for so long that I just couldn’t believe it actually happened. Former music industry employee, 1980s
Now Four corners can reveal the inner story of Sony Music, where fear and intimidation have lurked the halls for decades.
“It’s always been a huge story that was just waiting to come out and it never got out while Denis was still at the helm, because people were so scared.” Former SNR Sony employee, 2000s
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Former Sony Music employees break their silence to expose what they have endured for so many years.
âI felt targeted, I felt manipulated and I definitely felt abused. There is only a limit to what you can handle. Former Sony employee, 1990s
There is nothing glamorous about the image that emerges from this music machine, where appalling behavior has been normalized and concealed.
“There was a feeling he was untouchable.” Old Sony frame, 2000s
Many of those who have worked in this toxic environment say those who allowed this to continue should be held accountable as well.
âI think the thing that upset most of us was New York said, ‘Oh, we just found out about this problem, it just came out. “This myth must be challenged. Former Sony executive, 1980s
Four Corners – Face the Music, reported by Grace Tobin, airs Monday 11e October at 8:30 p.m. on ABC and iview.
It is replayed on Tuesday 12e at 1:00 p.m. and Wednesday the 13the at 11:20 p.m. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS on Saturdays at 8:10 p.m. AEST, ABC iview and to abc.net.au/4corners.