QMusic Revokes Denis Handlin's Honorary Award

Denis Handlin
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Howard started Scene Magazine in 1993. Paul Keating was Prime Minister. Whitney, Janet and Mariah all had Aussie #1s and Mark Zuckerberg was 9. He (Howard, not The Zuck) likes Star Trek and a good Oxford Comma – way too much fun at parties.

QMusic has revoked ex-Sony boss, Denis Handlin's, honorary music award which was presented to him last year.

Following ongoing reports of systemic bullying, discrimination, and misconduct under Handlin’s leadership at Sony Music Entertainment, QMusic CEO Kris Stewart said the organisation could not let this acknowledgement and celebration of Handlin's career stand.

“Last night’s Four Corners investigative report laid bare the undeniable fact that the culture under Denis Handlin’s leadership at Sony came at significant human cost,” he said.

“Toxic workplaces, be they in the office, boardroom, on stage or behind, have no future in Australian music. We cannot, and should not accept nor celebrate this kind of culture. The future of music must be one that is safe, supportive, and equitable for all."

The award was bestowed at the 2020 Queensland Music Awards. QMusic is the peak industry body for music in Queensland.

Handlin is a Queenslander who formerly served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand and President of Sony Music Entertainment Asia Inc, commencing employment in the company in 1970 until 5 June 2021, making him the longest serving global Sony Music employee. He was sacked earlier this year for unspecified reasons.

The allegations in the Four Corners programme makes celebratory ties to Handlin all but untenable. The accusations were broad-based, credible to this writer and pointed to a systemic behaviour and culture irretriveable through any singular explanation or apology.

It is expected the floodgates will now open. Earlier today, ARIA – of which Handlin was recently Chair – released a short statement which read: “No one should feel unsafe, harassed, discriminated against, or bullied in the workplace. ARIA will continue to work towards safety, inclusion and equality across the music industry including through the cultural change process that was started in May this year.

“We will listen to the voices that need to be heard and provide our wholehearted support every step of the way.”

More to come.

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