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Skeezy Music Publicist Heathcliff Berru Called Out on Twitter for Sexual Harassment

You might remember when we shared the story of Ke$ha and her lawsuit with her producer, Dr. Luke. If you do, you might not be surprised that there are even more skeezy people running rampant throughout the music industry. But here’s another one for the list anyway: Heathcliff Berru, a music publicist who was called out on Twitter the other day by a lot of prominent female artists.

It all started with Amber Coffman of the Dirty Projectors, who tweeted about her horrifying interactions with Berru, who is a PR representative from Life and Death Records.

As you can see above, Coffman called out Berru for his disgusting, harassing behavior. Many, many more female artists came forward to both share their support of Coffman plus share their own stories.

Berru has since stepped down as CEO of Life and Death PR. He released a statement the other day, saying that he’s dealt with drug and alcohol problems in the past, essentially blaming those problems for his actions.

While it’s heartening to see all these female artists banding together in support of each other, it’s still incredibly, incredibly disappointing to see that these problems still exist. Perhaps the most disappointing is finding out that women still feel behooved to remain silent on these incredibly horrifying issues. It’s yet another imbalanced power dynamic at play between those with control and those without.

There is something very seriously wrong with the way the music industry (plus just about every other industry) handles the working relationships between women and men. Stories like Coffman’s, Martinez’s, and Kittles’ stand as high profile examples of a problem that runs to the very core of the industry.

If it was this hard for a popular, prominent artist to come forward and say something, how hard do you think it is for those who are still trying to make it? Do they still feel that they have to keep quiet about these awful things? Even if they share these experiences, are people listening? Have things become so bad that behavior like Berru’s is now part of “the experience” of making it as an artist? If that’s so, that is disgusting.

Hopefully Coffman’s story reached the right people. By changing the narrative to one that is welcoming to women sharing their experiences, the work to change the industry can begin. But as long as these stories remain silenced and as long as the women stay quiet, then the status quo remains.

I feel it’s important to note that not every person is required to share their experiences. Nor should anyone be made to feel that they’re failing somehow if they don’t want to. Each of our stories are our own, and it’s up to us how we want to share them. But acknowledging the importance of speaking up is a powerful way of instituting change.

I just hope that the right people are listening.

(via Jezebel)

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