Kyle defends disgraced former Sony boss Denis Handlin & tells people to ‘Get over it’

Editor & Content Director

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

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Tick tick tick
12 Oct 2021 - 2:32 pm

Surprised one bully is sticking up for another bully. The wheel is turning which side of history will you be on?

Wayne from Nararra
12 Oct 2021 - 2:38 pm

Totally normal at kiss. That’s insanity, wouldn’t happen if I was running the joint.

Lindy Morrison
12 Oct 2021 - 4:05 pm

Must be such a really toxic culture at Kyle’s station. KIIS 106.5. How can I say that. He is allowed to justify bullying, violence, harassment on air. Allowed to normalise it like it’s ok. This is unacceptable. What are the the Board like for this station, what are the Executives like to condone his speech. It’s horrible really horrible.

Uh oh!
12 Oct 2021 - 4:23 pm

Sounds like KIIS needs to be investigating it’s own toxic male culture.

Steve
12 Oct 2021 - 5:36 pm

I think last night’s four corners has a few executives and their supporters ducking for cover. I think it’s a good thing and about time. Our industry needs to be exposed on what has been swept under the rug for the last 30 years. I feel like a lot of people in the industry are waiting for this.

Nathan
12 Oct 2021 - 7:19 pm

I’m not surprised. The radio industry has a lot to answer for. Maybe it’s time someone asks a few questions about the large dossier that everyone knows exists that has been legally suppressed by one of the radio networks. The clock is ticking

Tricia
12 Oct 2021 - 7:22 pm

His comments say it all .What a prat full of his own importance
Shame on you

Pete
12 Oct 2021 - 7:23 pm

I’m Sure Kyle would feel different if he was made redundant when he finally has the baby

Dash
13 Oct 2021 - 9:25 am

Kyle, while your radio craft has given you successes beyond your expectations, your life’s bubble leaves you exposed and “Tone Deaf” on many occasions. Next time you’re in Ciaran Davis’s office demanding more money or a National Radio footprint from KiiS, think about the normal people that don’t have a platform or pays/income to cover there next week’s bills. These were the people at Sony functions you never met. Who else can we look forward to “Get over it”? Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein ?

Neil D
13 Oct 2021 - 9:32 am

Well…..KIIS did drop numbers in the last survey…..the tactic to get attention from the audience and people commenting has worked, interesting to see the next survey numbers, unfortunately it is a toxic subject to piggyback on for the sake of numbers / revenue.

Mia
13 Oct 2021 - 10:42 am

I refused to watch Four Corners. I worked with Denis Handlin. He treated me like an equal and with respect. I stood up to him and treated him like anyone else. Sure, there was drinking and some yelling. He always apologised. There were other male managers there who were worse. Where is their expose? We were all rewarded. Denis was very generous to all of us. I am sad that the sensitive snowflakes want to crucify a man for what many were guilty of, back in the 80’s. Move on, people. Enough with crucifying this man. And no, I didn’t sleep with him. #TeamHandlin

Chuck Tuna
13 Oct 2021 - 11:07 am

Oh Kyle , run off and play with your toys, the grown ups are talking here sweetie, theres a good boy , off you go now…

Sal
13 Oct 2021 - 11:55 am

Nothing at all reported in the News Corp press. Wonder why?

Insider who got sick of that culture
13 Oct 2021 - 9:14 pm

I mean Kyle’s not wrong. That culture IS totally normal at Kiss/ARN. I’d go as far to say it’s normal in most radio stations. However, that doesn’t make it right.

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