Billboard’s Swimming In Sexual Harassment Claims

Patrick Crowley (left) speaking to openly gay musician MNEK for Billboard.

A former editor for Billboard is suing after several musicians say he tried to get nude pictures from them.

Earlier this week, Buzzfeed released an editorial about recording artist Nik Thakkar. Thakkar alleged that Patrick Crowley, a former editor with Billboard Magazine, acted unprofessionally after Thakkar refused to send him nudes.

Thakkar claims that Crowley, who was in charge of LGBTQ vertical “Billboard Pride,” removed Thakkar’s name from the list after refusing Crowley’s sexual advances. To backup this claim, Nik Thakkar revealed Instagram messages shared between the two.

After the news story hit, Crowley was fired from his job. In addition, five other artists came forward to express similar stories.

https://twitter.com/dustinnickle/status/1108845917346639872

All six artists then created a joint statement. Billboard has yet to comment on Crowley’s situation outside of a vague message through the “Billboard Pride” list.

“That the kind of behavior described is not only deplorable but also completely contrary to our ethical and professional standards,” the message said.

“Billboard expects all its journalists and employees to uphold the highest standards of professional and ethical behavior, and we will not tolerate anything less,” it added.

According to the Advocate, Crowley is now fighting back by suing both Billboard and the artists. The lawsuit states that Billboard discriminated against Crowley because of his sexual orientation.

“This is homophobia in the workplace in its highest and most sinister form,” said Crowley’s representation.

Meanwhile, the statement says the six artists are seeking fame through “a defamatory campaign to destroy… his career.” He says the screenshots shared by some of the artists are silly and only part of the conversations. He also claims that they don’t depict sexual advances.

Crowley’s statement also goes on to slut shame the artists while blaming the #MeToo movement for the loss of his job.

“When does #metoo go too far?” asked the statement. “These artists have attractive, edgy, extremely aggressive and overtly sexual presences in social media.”

If you want to read Crowley’s full statement, you can do so below.

Mr. Crowley denies any and all wrong doing, including but not limited to, any allegations that he sexually harassed anyone, including the individual artists and representatives who have now jumped on the Twitter bandwagon of embellishment and/or outright false statements.

Mr. Crowley has worked tirelessly for many years promoting new gay artists, so much so that Billboard created a new and special position for him, focusing on the “Pride” market, a position that he thrived in.

Although quite talented professionally, Mr. Crowley is meek and quite shy socially.  After engaging in some consensual, silly and innocuous social banter on private messengering features of Instagram and Twitter, with no overt or actual comments about sex.  Up until a few days ago, never once did any artist or representative state to Crowley or anyone else that anything that Crowley has said was offensive. In fact, the artists’ comments in the messages are very similar to Crowleys.  Now, the artists and their representatives, lead by Nik Thakkar and Nate Kisos, solely for the purposes of self promotion, have engaged in a defamatory campaign to destroy Mr. Crowley and his career, making repeated, defamatory and in some instances absurd statements on Twitter about Mr. Crowley.  If you examine the partial messages carefully, there is nothing offensive in them and, more importantly, there is absolutely no indication that anyone was offended or that Crowley ever sought anything in exchange for publicity. In fact, the silly messages Thakkar posted took place after Billboard had already written a piece on Thakkar, that Crowley approved and that went live the next day.  Therefore, Thakkar has no credibility on his claim of quid pro quo harassment; it is a self-promoting fantasy of his, one that now leads to litigation.

You can say anything on Twitter these days and instantly it somehow becomes “truth”. When does #metoo go too far?  Mr. Crowley will now not back down and will be filing a lawsuit for defamation and tortious interference with the right to contract against Thakkar, Kiso and others. These artists have attractive, edgy, extremely aggressive and overtly sexual presences in social media. In fact, one of the artist features a picture of himself inhaling a sex drug as part of his self promotion.  How any of these artists could have been offended by anything Mr. Crowley did or said is beyond our understanding. And, in fact, no artist ever did say anything until this latest Twitter bandwagon began, a march of talking heads who think they can say just about anything they want on Twitter and somehow get away with it.

To make matters worse, and sadly, Billboard decided to abruptly end Crowley’s employment solely based on an investigation into Thakkar’s Tweets that lasted less than 24 hours.  Even more tragic is that Billboard treated Mr. Crowley, a gay man, in an entirely different manner than other senior male straight employees of Billboard who were accused by female employees of specific acts of sexual harassment; these woman [sic] complained in real time to Billboard‘s HR department about specific acts of actual conduct that offended them.  And, after an investigation, these straight Billboard employees were allowed to keep their jobs. This is homophobia in the workplace in its highest and most sinister form. Billboard continues to defame Mr. Crowley by making outrageous and unsupported statements in the press. Billboard will shortly be served with a lawsuit for, among other things, discrimination based on sexual orientation.

h/t: Buzzfeed, The Advocate

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