LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) Live Nation Entertainment production chief Heather Parry has been reportedly put on a leave of absence in response to a lengthy exposé by Variety reporting allegations of Parry using verbally abusive behavior and offensive language toward employees.
Parry is an executive producer of the Academy Award-nominated “A Star Is Born” and produced documentaries involving Lady Gaga and Sean “Diddy” Combs. She has been in charge of Live Nation’s TV and production arm since the winter of 2015.
Variety reports it has been investigating the alleged abuse for more than four months and had obtained a recording of four employees complaining about Parry to their superiors. Ten employees filed HR complaints against Parry more than six months ago, according to the trade magazine, but the complaints “apparently went nowhere” until today, Variety said.
“At Live Nation we pride ourselves on having an open, accessible and inclusive culture,” Live Nation said in a statement. “We take all employee complaints seriously and have retained a third party to investigate. We have placed Ms. Parry on leave during this time.”
The recording allegedly includes two employees telling executives they sought therapy because of Parry’s abuse, with one claiming he suffered health problems because of it. The executives apparently respond that, while acknowledging Parry’s abrasiveness, that letting her go would mean shutting down the department and adversely affecting “the other 12 people” at the production division.
The article details alleged comments punctuated with words like “f-ggot” and “c-nt” and once, frustrated with a a black employee, Parry saying, “Black people, you can’t count on them for anything.”
“It was legitimately the worst experience of my life,” Joseph Shepherd, a former digital producer at Live Nation Productions, told Variety. “I don’t understand why nothing has been done.”
One employee apparently hijacked the company’s Twitter account on Dec. 19 and wrote an open letter to Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino:
“I want a normal working environment,” the anonymous person wrote. “One where I don’t have to fear being called an expletive or have something thrown at me or one where I don’t have to cry at my desk daily. Is that too hard to ask for?”
Variety says it interviewed 23 former employees of Live Nation Productions and Parry’s former employer, Adam Sandler’s production company, Happy Madison, with most saying on condition of anonymity that Parry was “manipulative, demeaning, and verbally abusive.”
Rapino had no comment on the article, but Parry said through her attorney that she was committed to maintaining “a safe and respectful workplace.”
“It’s unfortunate, as a woman running a new division at one of the largest entertainment companies in the world, that you can be targeted simply because of how others perceive a woman in power,” she said. “I am deeply saddened by these accusations and gossip that in no way reflect who I am, or what I truly value. If I hurt someone, I am sorry and apologize as that was never my intention,” she said.
Two people from Live Nation Productions defended Parry for the article while it includes many others who talk disparagingly of her behavior at both Live Nation and at Happy Madison.