UPDATED 2/1/2018 10:30 a.m. ET: After being placed on leave, Republic Records' president Charlie Walk provided a statement resigning from his position as a judge on The Four following sexual misconduct allegations.
"Out of respect for the contestants, my fellow judges and everyone involved with the show, I have made the decision not to attend the finale of The Four. I do not want my presence to be a distraction. Needless to say this is very upsetting. Although I continue to support the ‘Me Too’ movement, there has been an extreme rush to judgment against me in this particular case which is unfair and inconsistent with anything that even actually happened. I welcome any investigation so that in short order these unfounded and hurtful accusations can be put to rest.”
Walk will appear on next week's episode of The Four since it was pre-tapped, but will not be present for the show's live finale. The show just debuted on Jan. 4.
Original story below:
Universal Music Group announced the decision Wednesday, following two new allegations of sexual misconduct on Tuesday. UMG said Walk will not return to his post until the company’s legal team has conducted a thorough investigation into the women’s claims.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that in a music industry email published on Tuesday, one former Republic Records employee claimed that while she was employed under the company, Walk would make inappropriate comments on the social media pictures she posted and invite her to hotel rooms. Another woman who identified herself as a married business owner said that Walk would constantly comment on her physical appearance and attractiveness.
“Republic Records is committed to a safe workplace environment where employees are treated fairly and respectfully,” a UMG spokesman said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. “We have retained an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation of this matter and have encouraged anyone who has relevant information to speak to the firm’s investigators. Mr. Walk has been placed on leave, and will remain in leave for the duration of the investigation.”
The news arrives on the same day Fox announced it had fired Walk from its singing competition series, The Four: Battle for Stardom. Walk served as one of the show’s judges alongside Diddy, DJ Khaled, and Meghan Trainor. Though he will appear in this week’s pre-recorded episode, Deadline reports he will not be featured in the upcoming season finale.
On Monday, a woman named Tristan Coopersmith shared an open letter in which she accused Walk of repeatedly harassing her while she was working for him at Sony Records. She claimed that the music executive would make lewd comments about her body and, at one point, attempted to corner her in his bedroom.
Walk denied Coopersmith’s allegations, writing to ET: “It is very upsetting to learn of this untrue allegation made by someone who worked with me 15 years ago, without incident," it said. "There has never been a single HR claim against me at any time during my 25+ year career, spanning three major companies. I have consistently been a supporter of the women's movement and this is the first time I have ever heard of this or any other allegation—and it is false.”
Shortly after Coopersmith’s letter was published, another woman came forward with similar claims. She alleged Walk had sent her explicit text messages and Snapchat videos following years of inappropriate behavior. The woman said she has chosen to remain anonymous as she still works in the music industry and “does not want her name associated with Walk’s conduct.”