Former Billboard CEO Accused Of Sexual Harassment
According to The Daily Beast, the former CEO of The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard, John Amato, has been accused of sexual harassment and other misconduct. These allegations come just after Amato resigned earlier this week for influencing newsroom procedures.
An internal investigation was launched after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced and “expanded over the past few weeks after an audit was launched looking other allegations of impropriety by John Amato.”
Investigators soon discovered that Amato had “made sexual overtures” at a marketing staffer while attending the Sundance Film Festival in 2014. The incident was reportedly widely witnessed. Two of Amato’s employees confirmed that something similar also happened to a female staffer at the 2017 Billboard Awards. Many of his staff also revealed that Amato talked very openly about his sex life at work events.
During a staff dinner in 2014, “The CEO allegedly boasted to colleagues about a sexually charged encounter he claimed to have had with two female A-list celebrities. Staffers described being uncomfortable as they listened to him vividly describe the physique of Jared Leto and a woman he met while partying with the actor.”
Amato’s friends also allegedly harassed staffers and posed a threat to the workplace environment. One complaint by a former employee recalls Amato’s protégé, Julian Holguin, repeatedly asking employees about strip clubs. In an email to the director of human resources, a non-employee witness wrote, “He would go on to make NUMEROUS requests + inquiries regarding not only where strip clubs might be located…but also (verbatim) ‘Do the strippers here f**k?’ He would go on to ask this exact question no fewer then 7 times w/in my ear shot. There was also a comment along the lines of him wanting to ‘eat some stripper snatch’ as well as disgusting references to how ‘beat up’ he liked them.”
Several other complaints have been filed against the company’s chief revenue officer Moksha Fitzgibbons, who Amato hired himself. According to witnesses, “Fitzgibbons verbally accosted business-side employees in front of other colleagues for allegedly underperforming. He yelled at staff when clients changed meeting times, and on multiple occasions he yelled at staff loudly enough that employees in other departments could hear.”
In addition, The Daily Beast reported just this May that Amato “worked to derail a series of stories at Billboard and Spin about close friend and Republic Records ex-president Charlie Walk’s alleged inappropriate and unwanted advances on younger women.”
So far, Amato has declined to comment.