Malaysians and JUICE were proud that local R&B artiste, Alextbh was making moves internationally and being recognised by bigger platforms like Billboard Magazine, but then a dark secret was uncovered today. Alex took to his Twitter and Instagram to state that he was sexually harassed by a senior director Patrick Cowley who was in charge of Billboard Pride.
“What started as a benign conversation quickly spiralled into unwanted sexual favours,” he explained as he goes on stating that he is not the only victim. Read the full statement below:
In an interview by BuzzFeed News, another queer artist – Nik Thakkar or better known for his stage name, NEO 10Y spoke up about Patrick and his sexual harassments. It took him six months to have the confidence to bring up this whole situation as he felt like he had to fight a massive prestigious music publication.
It all started when Thakkar was in contact with Patrick and he thought they would be discussing about his new track for an interview with Billboard. Turns out, Patrick was steering the conversation into something else and lastly asked Thakkar for nude photos. It happened multiple times under the disguise of “humour” and the classic guilt trips.
As soon as Thakkar declined sending unsolicited photos of himself to the director, he was later told that his name was removed from a Billboard playlist. This all took place in Thakkar’s Instagram DMs where he called out the manipulation.
When news of this whole situation broke out, Alex stood in solidarity with the victims by sharing his side of the story too. Alextbh also quote-tweeted BuzzFeed’s article on Thakkar with the hashtag #MeToo.
A spokesperson for Billboard said to BuzzFeed that, the company has investigated the “very serious allegations” and “determined there had been violations of the company’s ethical and professional standards”. Since then, Billboard has terminated Patrick’s employment and it was effective immediately.
Billboard also expressed “regret” for Patrick’s “unprofessional behaviour”.
Sexual harassment is a serious matter and we applaud Alex and Thakkar for having the courage to share their side of the story. With this kind of awareness, we hope that one day, unwanted “sexual favours” that are long prominent in the music industry will stop. Or just sexual harassment in general, it’s time..
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