A report from British tabloid The Sun published yesterday (October 16) suggested that chart-topping Atlantic Records UK artist Stormzy had a crucial hand in the exit of Ben Cook from the label.
Atlantic parent Warner Music Group has just issued a categorical denial of the claim.
“That’s simply not true,” a Warner spokesperson told MBW. “No artists were involved in our decision-making.”
Long-time Atlantic Records UK President Cook announced he was stepping down as boss of the label yesterday morning.
In a lengthy statement, he admitted donning an “offensive” costume at a party seven years ago, at which he dressed as an unspecified member of Run DMC, whom he says he considered a “musical hero”.
Cook’s full statement regarding the incident and his exit from Atlantic is as follows:
It is with great sadness that today I announce I am stepping down as President of Atlantic Records, UK.
“Seven years ago, at a birthday party where guests were asked to come dressed as their favourite musical icon, I came as a member of Run DMC. Late last year rumours began to circulate about my appearance at that event, many of which are simply untrue. While my intention was to honour a musical hero, I recognise my appearance was offensive and I made a terrible mistake.
“As a consequence of this, I readily agreed to disciplinary actions by my employer last year. Since then however, allegations surrounding the party have continued to be made against me. Moreover, they have been used against a wonderful company and the label I love. I have therefore come to the conclusion that I should make this statement and step down, with immediate effect.
“I am devastated that this mistake has caused upset and has called into question my commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion, values which I have championed throughout my career. I have learned a great deal from this event and will resolutely continue to champion these values moving forward.
“It has been an incredible privilege to have worked with the immensely talented artists, managers and team at Atlantic and the wider Warner family.
“I unreservedly apologise to anyone who has been hurt.”Music Business Worldwide