L.A. Reid, the former CEO of Epic Records, a division of major label Sony, is apparently returning to the music industry after stepping down from his position last year, over what most assumed were accusations of sexual harassment. On Wednesday, Billboard reported that Reid is preparing to launch a new music and publishing company called Hitco. The news follows earlier reports that Reid alleged raised $75 million for an unnamed venture.
In May 2017, L.A. Reid left Epic with no explanation—a few days passed and it was revealed that he was facing claims of sexual harassment. A former employee wrote a letter to Sony, alleging Reid made inappropriate comments about her appearance and clothing that led her to leave Epic Records due to emotional distress.
It’s no isolated incident—the music industry continues to grapple with sexual harassment and assault. On Monday, Charlie Walk, the president of Republic Records, a division of Universal Music Group, was accused of sexual misconduct by former employee Tristan Coopersmith in an open letter published to her website. Subsequent women have come forward to tell their own stories of harassment by the record executive. Hip hop mogul Russell Simmons, too, has been accused of sexual misconduct and assault by at least 12 women.
A pattern of abuse at the hands of powerful music executives continues to be revealed, but for people like L.A. Reid, there appear to be little repercussions. Despite gestures of solidarity made at public events like white roses at the Grammys, nothing will change if the music industry shuffles these men around to new roles, hoping the public will simply forget their actions. We won’t.