Maybe you've heard, maybe you haven't, but you should know.
Earlier this week, Heathcliff Berru, the founder of the prominent indie public relations and management company Life or Death, resigned amid claims of sexual harassment from several women including Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors. Dailymail summarized the situation as follows
Publicist Heathcliff Berru, who was forced to resign after being accused of sexual harassment by a growing number of female Indie rock musicians over the past two days, broke his silence about the allegations Tuesday, apologizing for the misconduct and blaming his actions on drugs and alcohol. Allegations of sexual transgressions against the now-former CEO of Life or Death public relations first came to light when Amber Coffman, a singer and guitarist for the band Dirty Projectors, tweeted Monday about an encounter she had with Berru. Before long, several other female artists and industry figures have come out accusing Berru of similar behavior. The list of accusers continued growing throughout the day Tuesday, with at least one woman suggesting that Berru had drugged her before groping her.
In addition to representing the Dirty Projectors and several more indie rock bands, Life or Death also represented hip-hop and R&B acts like Frank Ocean, D’Angelo, GZA and Killer Mike. Like many artists, Killer Mike left the now dissolved Life or Death, choosing to stick with Duncan Will, his longtime publicist from the company, in whatever new situation Will moved into. (We reached out to Will for a comment but he has yet to respond).
But in typical Killer Mike fashion he couldn't leave the issue unspoken, taking to Facebook last night to comment on the situation and prove once again why he remains one of the most vocal and most respected emcees in hip-hop:
Now that I've got everything in order, let me put this out here since my tweets didn't convey my points/actions clearly.
Yesterday a.m. I read the story about Heathcliff. I called him immediately and ended our biz relationship. I also told him how wrong he was and how disappointed and ashamed I am of his actions and that he's gotta take whatever's coming. I also encouraged him to work on being a better human being.
I stand in solidarity with the women that have spoke out. No one should have to feel afraid for speaking out when wronged in any manner or feel like no cares about them. This is not ok. For the sake of clarity, I had no knowledge of any of this stuff prior to the story breaking yesterday a.m.
As for publicity moving forward- RTJ has always been repped by Biz3 and I will continue to work with Duncan Will (formerly of LoD) independently. He's done nothing but be a great publicist to me.
Another point I want to make sure that comes across- Men have to be able to tell our friends and peers when they're wrong. We cannot just say, it's not my problem. We can't expect ppl to improve if we're not willing to hold them accountable and push them to be better.
Love and Respect.
Killer Mike could have simply jumped ship and said nothing in an effort to not rock the proverbial boat, but that just wouldn't be Killer Mike. Instead, he publicly approached the subject with honesty, sensitivity and respect.
The Run The Jewels emcee is never afraid to make his voice heard, and here he champions a cause which all too frequently is marginalized not just in hip-hop, not just in music, but in nearly every corner of our world.
I didn’t think it was possible, but my respect and admiration for Killer Mike just grew. He continues to be the gold standard for what an emcee should strive to be when they aren't onstage or in a recording booth. Too often we all let instances of misogyny and violence against women slide for the sake of convenience and conformity. Don’t do it.
Let's all be more like Killer Mike.