Universal Music Australia Announces Workplace Culture Investigation

Universal Music Australia has announced an independent investigation into its workplace culture. The investigation follows the online publishing of allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

Nathanael Cooper broke the news in the Sydney Morning Herald, revealing that an internal complaint was lodged with HR, which stirred leadership into action. Universal have called on lawyer Darren Perry from the firm Seyfarth Shaw to conduct the investigation.

Staff were notified of the company’s plans via an internal email sent on Friday, 6th August. In the email, Universal Music Australia & New Zealand president, George Ash, told staff he was aware of the allegations published online, including an allegation involving Ash himself.

“As the leader of this company I take full responsibility for creating a respectful workplace culture for everyone,” Ash wrote. “With respect to my own behaviour, it is particularly painful to realise now that what I intended as jokes were unacceptable comments that made some of you uncomfortable.”

Universal’s workplace culture investigation comes hot on the heels of Sony Music Australia’s own reckoning with a history of bullying, harassment and assault. Sony’s longstanding CEO Denis Handlin was stood down in June and another two other executives let go after detailed reporting from The Guardian exposed a toxic internal culture.

We’ll have more details as they arise.

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