UPDATED with statement from Walk’s attorney: It’s official: Charlie Walk will not appear in the finale of Fox’s musical competition show The Four. His attorney Patricia Glaser released a statement on Walk’s behalf confirming the news Deadline heard was coming:
“Out of respect for the contestants, my fellow judges and everyone involved with the show, I have made the decision not to attend the finale of The Four. I do not want my presence to be a distraction. Needless to say this is very upsetting. Although I continue to support the ‘Me Too’ movement, there has been an extreme rush to judgment against me in this particular case which is unfair and inconsistent with anything that even actually happened. I welcome any investigation so that in short order these unfounded and hurtful accusations can be put to rest.” – Charlie Walk
Walk will be in tomorrow’s episode, which was pretaped, but he won’t appear on the show’s season finale, which airs February 8 at 8 PM.
Earlier today, the record company exec was suspended by his Universal Music Group label Republic Records as Deadline reported a second woman has came forward with claims of inappropriate conduct by Walk. The music giant had conducted an investigation after Life Lab founder Tristan Coopersmith went online earlier this week to describe an escalating pattern of alleged inappropriate behavior by Walk when he was at Sony Music.
The Four winner will still be rewarded a record deal with Republic Records as previously announced. The executives assigned to work with the winner will be determined by the label. The winning singer also will get career guidance from the other three experts, Sean Combs, DJ Khaled and Meghan Trainor.
PREVIOUS, 2:09 PM: Two days after allegations of sexual harassment first emerged against record company exec Charlie Walk, Fox is starting to cut The Four: Battle for Stardom ties with the Republic Records chief.
With the singing competition show scheduled to air its latest pre-taped episode tomorrow, sources tell Deadline that this looming move follows Walk being placed on leave on Wednesday by Universal Music Group. As the details are being worked out of Walk’s exit from The Four and how it will be explained on-air, the UMG response occurred pending the outcome of an investigation into the claimed sexual misconduct and as another woman has come forward to accuse The Four judge of inappropriate behavior.
Co-judged by Sean “Diddy” Combs, DJ Khaled and singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor, the January 4 debuting singing competition show is in the last stage of taping for its first season. With events is such quick succession, Walk will be seen on tomorrow’s show, which was shot last week. However, he will not be on next week’s finale, we hear. Making things a little tricker, The Four’s grand prize is a recording contact with the once Walk run Republic Records
Fox did not respond to request for comment from Deadline on the matter or Walk’s status.
The fallout comes after Life Lab founder Tristan Coopersmith went online earlier this week to describe an escalating pattern of apparently very inappropriate behavior by Walk when he was at Sony Music.
In an open letter posted Monday, Coopersmith detailed how Walk would supposedly invite her into his corporate office and make lewd comments. She also described her claims how the exec would send her sexually explicit text messages, grope her at business dinners and, on one occasion, drunkenly attempted to push her into bed with him.
Soon after, Fox said they were “reviewing this matter and are committed to fostering a safe environment on all of our shows.” Hours after that and before all allegations became public, Walk put out a statement calling Coopersmith’s accusations against him both “untrue” and “false.”
“It is very upsetting to learn of this untrue allegation made by someone who worked with me 15 years ago, without incident,” Walk asserted later Monday. “There has never been a single HR claim against me at any time during my 25+ year career, spanning three major companies. I have consistently been a supporter of the women’s movement and this is the first time I have ever heard of this or any other allegation — and it is false.”
As reported by Deadline’s Dawn Chmielewski today, a music marketing exec is now also alleging sexually harassment behavior by Walk. In that case, Walk is said to have sent a series of explicit images and video via Snapchat and tried to get the woman to come to a L.A. hotel room to meet up with him.