LONDON (CelebrityAccess) – Ben Cook has stepped down from his role as president of Atlantic Records UK following 12 years with the label.
The news follows an incident that took place seven years ago in which Cook appeared at a party dressed up as a member of Run DMC.
In a personal statement issued earlier today (Oct. 16), Cook explained: “It is with great sadness that today I announce I am stepping down as president of Atlantic Records, UK. Seven years ago, at a birthday party where guests were asked to come dressed as their favourite musical icon, I came as a member of Run DMC. Late last year rumours began to circulate about my appearance at that event, many of which are simply untrue. While my intention was to honour a musical hero, I recognise 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.
“I am devastated that this mistake has caused upset and has called into question my commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion, values which I have championed throughout my career. I have learned a great deal from this event and will resolutely continue to champion these values moving forward.
“It has been an incredible privilege to have worked with the immensely talented artists, managers and team at Atlantic and the wider Warner family. I unreservedly apologise to anyone who has been hurt.”
During his tenure with Atlantic, Cook was a key figure in the success of Ed Sheeran, Clean Bandit, Rudimental, Anne-Marie and Stormzy.
Parlophone’s co-president Mark Mitchell will reportedly take over leadership of Atlantic UK on an interim basis.