Atlantic Records U.K. President Steps Down Over “Offensive” Run-DMC Costume
The President of Atlantic Records U.K. has stepped down from his role amid controversy.
Ben Cook, who has held the role since 2014, resigned on Wednesday (Oct. 16) following news that he'd dressed up in an "offensive" costume as a member of Run-DMC in 2012. The music executive released a statement to announce the resignation.
"It is with great sadness that today I announce I am stepping down as President of Atlantic Records, U.K.," Cook said. "Seven years ago, at a birthday party where guests were asked to come dressed as their favorite musical icon, I came as a member of Run-DMC. Late last year rumors began to circulate about my appearance at that event, many of which are simply untrue. While my intention was to honor a musical hero, I recognize my appearance was offensive and I made a terrible mistake. As a consequence of this, I readily agreed to disciplinary actions by my employer last year. Since then however, allegations surrounding the party have continued to be made against me. Moreover, they have been used against a wonderful company and the label I love. I have therefore come to the conclusion that I should make this statement and step down, with immediate effect.”
He added that he was "devastated" by the incident and that he's "learned a great deal" from it. A spokesperson for Warner Records, Atlantic's parent company, confirmed the resignation to Billboard.
Cook, who gave Ed Sheeran his first record deal, went to Atlantic following six years as President of Asylum Records U.K.
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