A shareholder activist within the music trade has invoked a little-known statute inside Delaware’s company legal guidelines, hoping to require Warner Music Group to share any data it has associated to sexual misconduct allegations inside the firm.

Dorothy Carvello, a former A&R govt at WMG-owned Atlantic Records and the creator of the memoir Anything for a Hit: An A&R Woman’s Story of Surviving the Music Industry, filed her request final week, demanding that one of many largest document label conglomerates provide copies of all complaints filed inside the firm alleging sexual misconduct. Carvello can also be requesting settlement agreements and non-disclosure agreements Warner entered alongside paperwork associated to any potential investigations Warner carried out over alleged sexual misconduct.

“I would like to see what the precise investigations, if any, have been towards these claims,” Carvello tells Rolling Stone. “We want extra transparency from Warner Music Group. I don’t need a board that rubber stamps this conduct.” 

For the previous a number of years, Carvello has been pushing for the music trade to take accountability for sexual abuse in direction of its staff and artists. In April, she launched Face the Music Now, a basis that goals to give sources to survivors of sexual abuse within the music trade. Carvello’s letter focuses primarily on sexual misconduct allegations, however it additionally references lawsuits from legacy Warner artists who allege the corporate wrongfully took from their royalties by worldwide “intracompany costs.”

The letter extensively refers to a Rolling Stone report from March, which detailed a sexual harassment declare former Warner Records A&R Samantha Maloney introduced towards WMG CEO Stephen Cooper, and the next $240,000 NDA she signed that stops her from speaking concerning the claims. (Through a WMG consultant, Cooper denied the allegation.) In the identical grievance, Maloney introduced ahead claims she’d heard towards former A&R govt Jeff Fenster (who was fired after Maloney’s grievance) and present promo govt Dave Dyer. (Dyer and Fenster declined to remark on the time.)

The letter additionally references allegations from WMG-signed singer-songwriter Lily Allen, who’d beforehand alleged in her e book My Thoughts Exactly {that a} document govt sexually assaulted her in 2016. As the letter notes, Allen allegedly “mentioned her experiences with Max Lousada, the CEO of Recorded Music for WMG. Ms. Allen purportedly requested Lousada whether or not he would examine her claims. According to Ms. Allen, Lousada stated “No.””

Along with asking for any and all paperwork associated to any potential sexual misconduct allegation, Carvello additionally requested for all paperwork pertaining particularly to these two circumstances.

Carvello additionally talked about allegations she leveled in her personal e book, together with claims that Ahmet Ertegun, the Atlantic Records co-founder who died in 2006, sexually assaulted her a number of occasions and at one level fractured Carvello’s arm. She requested for paperwork associated to her personal private allegations within the 220 letter as nicely.

We take allegations of misconduct very severely and implement insurance policies that respect and defend those who increase issues,” A spokesperson for WMG says in an announcement. “WMG has an worker code of conduct designed to reinforce a protected, inclusive surroundings, and we proceed to pay attention and be taught for methods to stamp out discrimination and harassment from our trade. The allegations detailed on this letter have already been handled publicly, a lot of them have been raised years or a long time in the past.”


Carvello filed her request by a statute in part 220 of Delaware’s company legal guidelines, which calls for an organization integrated in Delaware to open its books to a requesting shareholder if that shareholder has a “correct goal,” because the code states. A correct goal, ambiguously imprecise, is outlined in Delaware’s regulation solely as “fairly associated to such individual’s curiosity as a stockholder.” According to the letter, Carvello’s correct goal for receiving the paperwork is “to verify whether or not the corporate’s administration is taking all measures needed to examine claims of sexual misconduct and guarantee a protected office surroundings for workers, artists and the general public.”

Such a request isn’t widespread, however Carvello isn’t the primary to use it: In May, as Axios reported, the New York City Retirement System — which owns inventory in online game large Activision Blizzard — sued Activision for entry to sure paperwork after submitting a 220 grievance final October following allegations of sexual harassment and office misconduct leveled final 12 months.

Carvello stated she’s ready to file a lawsuit in Delaware if WMG doesn’t hand over their data, and whereas Sony Music and UMG aren’t integrated within the state, she holds inventory within the different two main music corporations as nicely and says she’s exploring different authorized choices to file related requests.

“As a shareholder, I’m asking, ‘How will we entice artists, feminine artists significantly, to a label in the event that they don’t really feel protected?’” Carvello says. “As a society earlier than #MeToo and Harvey Weinstein, everybody thought this was enterprise as normal. Men have been rewarded for this conduct, why would they suppose this was something flawed? We’ve had no #MeToo within the music enterprise. If we’re doing issues proper, why do you want an NDA?” 

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