Target: Former Life or Death President Nick Dierl
Goal: Applaud immediate action against music publicist accused of sexual harassment and assault.
The CEO and founder of a small music firm was slammed with sexual harassment allegations from multiple women. The allegations originally came from Amber Coffman, member of indie group Dirty Projectors, after she tweeted about an encounter with Life or Death PR CEO Heathcliff Berru a few years ago. Multiple other publicists, coordinators, producers and musicians, including Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast, came forward with stories of their own.
Berru has been accused of various predatory acts, from drugging drinks to forcing himself on women he was working with. He resigned from the company almost immediately, and many bands and artists severed their ties with the firm. Berru admitted to a history of drug and alcohol abuse in a half-apology, and said he is checking into rehab.
The president of the six-person firm, Nick Dierl, then folded the company entirely. In a statement, he said Life or Death PR has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment. He promised musicians that the other five employees would continue working together in a new project. Some bands have vowed to stay with their publicists, cutting ties only with Berru. Applaud Dierl for his immediate handling of Berru and for discontinuing a company that would have otherwise had this mark on its name.
Dear Mr. Dierl,
We want to applaud your immediate efforts to cleanse yourself and the other former employees at Life or Death PR from the harassment allegations against Heathcliff Berru. The allegations against Berru are disturbing, and you and the rest of the team did the right thing by folding the company and the tarnished company name. Harassment like the charges Berru is accused of are rampant throughout the music industry and even with Berru removed from Life or Death, the company would still have had that on its record.
Standing up against harassment is the right thing to do. We hope that you and the other publicists are able to find a outlet for your work. It would be unfair for all of you to have to formally quit what you are doing because of the alleged actions of another. We applaud your efforts in distancing yourselves from Berru, and we hope that you are able to continue working with the big name clients that Life or Death had signed.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Antoine Beauvillain