Natalie Imbruglia Weighs In On The Toxic Allegations Currently Engulfing Her Ex Label Sony

Natalie Imbruglia

Muso Natalie Imbruglia has reacted to the bombshell news that Denis Handlin was sacked as CEO of Sony Music Australia, as the label investigates allegations of a toxic workplace culture.

Handlin’s departure after 50 years at Sony Music Australia was “effective immediately”, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Monday. It came after Sony Music’s global head of human resources opened an investigation into workplace culture at the Australian office, following a complaint from a staff member in Sydney.

During an interview on The Project last night about her brand new single ‘Built It Better’, Imbruglia was asked about the allegations.

“I don’t want to put you on the spot, but he [Handlin] was leading the company when you first started out – I wondered if that news was surprising to you,” host Carrie Bickmore asked the artist.

Imbruglia said that Bickmore’s question was the first time she was hearing about the news, adding that she didn’t have any direct contact with Handlin during her time with Sony.

“That’s a bit of a shock,” she said.

However the ‘Torn’ singer, who has dabbled in both the music and acting industries, said she definitely hopes the kinds of situations women can be put in has changed, including “auditioning in bikinis”.

“I do think it’s time for a change,” she said.

Rob Stringer, the CEO of Sony Music Group globally, put down Handlin’s sudden departure to a desire for change in leadership.

“It is time for a change in leadership and I will be making further announcements in terms of the new direction of our business in Australia and New Zealand in due course,” he said in an internal email.

He also thanked Handlin for his “extraordinary contribution to the company and its artists”.

Handlin also sent an email to all staff, saying it was “an honour to have spent over 50 years of my life at building and supporting Sony Music in Australia and New Zealand.”

On Monday evening, The Guardian posted an exclusive about the alleged conduct at Sony Music Australia, detailing allegations of “sexual harassment at work events, intimidating behaviour, alcohol abuse, and the unfair treatment of women in the workplace.”

The Guardian spoke to more than 20 former employees, with allegations spanning more than 20 years.

There is no suggestion Handlin’s firing is related to the allegations.