Kyle defends disgraced former Sony boss Denis Handlin & tells people to ‘Get over it’
KIIS 106.5 Breakfast host Kyle Sandilands has said he was disappointed by last night’s Four Corners exposé on former Sony Music Australia boss Denis Handlin.
The program delved into the rise and fall of Handlin, as well as the toxic culture within the major record label under his leadership. It included claims of bullying, harassment, intimidation and abuse, as well a story about a sexual assault survivor leaving the organisation with an $80,000 payout while the alleged perpetrator continued with the company for years.
Handlin, as well as other ousted executives, have thus far denied the accusations levied against them.
Taking to the airwaves this morning, Sandilands said the show didn’t contain revelations and scandals to the level he was expecting.
“Oh, so the guy [Handlin] was a bit of a grog monster and yelled in the ’80s… Big deal,” he said.
“[People said he was horrible], and I was like ‘Okay, what’s he done? I’m waiting? Where it it?’…. He would belittle people. So what? Big deal. Like some angry boss screamed and belittled people. Get over it.”
Sandilands said he thought the program was going to lift the lid on the record label’s toxic scandals, but instead it was a waste of his life.
“I wasted my life last night… I was looking for the ABC, that Four Corners program, because there was that big exposé on Sony Music… And everyone was like ‘Oh, oh. It’s going to blow the lid’. And I thought ‘Jesus. I’m going to watch this then if it’s going to blow the lid’.
“So I said to my missus ‘Do we even have the ABC?’ Because I’ve never watched it, because it’s shit. It’s the free, government station. So we looked, and there it was, second channel on Foxtel, so that was surprising. So I watched it….
“What a waste of life watching that.”
The episode included reports Handlin was often drunk, couldn’t treat women as equals and had employees followed by private detectives. There was also evidence of multiple women having their positions made redundant whilst on maternity leave, and claims former executive Tony Glover was a bully and “compulsive groper”, something which he appeared on the program to deny.
The program was watched by 602,000 metro viewers overnight, and the recording industry’s peak body ARIA has subsequently issued a statement about workplace safety and equality.
Sandilands and his team joked that the Sony Music culture described by Four Corners’ reporter Grace Tobin was “totally normal” at KIIS.
How did we get here? A timeline of Sony Music Australia’s upheaval
12 April: Tony Glover sacked by Sony Music Australia over allegations of inappropriate behaviour
15 June: Sony Music Australia under investigation by head office for harassment & bullying
21 June: Sony Music Australia and New Zealand CEO Denis Handlin to depart
22 June: 5 questions that need answering after Denis Handlin’s exit
23 June: Sony Music’s Pat Handlin & Mark Stebnicki stood down as work culture investigation continues
24 June: ‘It is time for change’: Denis Handlin sends note to Sony Music Australia staff
24 June: Lawyers who previously represented Titus Day in battle against Guy Sebastian could bring class action against Sony Music Australia
28 June: Inside the Australian music industry’s toxic underbelly
12 July: Law firm considering class action against Sony Music Australia inundated with responses
26 August: Everybody Knows: A five-part investigation into Australia’s toxic music industry launches
31 August: Inside the investigation that will expose Australia’s music industry
1 September: Denis Handlin speaks: ‘I would never tolerate treating women in an inappropriate manner’
24 September: Wayne Ringrow departs Sony Music Australia
11 October: ‘Systemic bullying, discrimination & misconduct’: Over 100 people break their silence on Sony Music Australia
12 October: Sacked Sony executive Tony Glover denies sexual harassment allegations & says he was a ‘scapegoat’
12 October: Four Corners episode investigating Sony Music watched by 602,000 metro viewers
12 October: ARIA releases statement in the wake of Four Corners’ Sony Music report as artists stay quiet