RENAAT VANDEPAPELIERE R&S RECORDS – OPEN LETTERNovember 12, 2020
Following a number of hurtful and inaccurate allegations made on social media platforms and covered in the wider media recently, I feel I need to reach out and set the record straight.
As English is not my first language, I have had help writing this but these are very much my feelings on the matter.
Let me start by saying that any charges of discrimination made against me or R&S Records are completely false and wholly without merit.
At R&S Records, which we started over 37 years ago, we have always been deeply committed to promoting diversity and equality and I want to put on record that:
R&R Records is opposed to and will not condone racist or other discriminatory behaviour whether in the workplace or otherwise.
The Black lives Matter movement has rightly caused many to speak out and to demand action to root out racism and other types of discrimination. R&S Records 100% supports that call for action and change.
We are honoured and privileged to represent our artists who come from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds as indeed do the people we work with.
�In one specific accusation I was accused of using inappropriate and discriminatory language in an exchange with one of our former artists. I have accepted that the form of words I used on that occasion were unacceptable and have apologised publicly to the artist involved and anyone who was impacted or offended by my actions
Whilst not looking to diminish this incident in any way I would like to reiterate, as I said at the time, that English is not my first language and that my choice of metaphor did not translate well from the original Dutch. I regret that and take full responsibility for any upset caused. I would only like to add that the sentiment , when heard in the original context is positive, complimentary and in no way negative. I did not say these things with hate in my heart nor was it my intention for those words to be discriminatory in any way.
Other accusations have been also been levelled at myself and R&S Records by a former company consultant who has taken to social media to make a number of serious and unsubstantiated claims, which have subsequently been picked up by other media outlets.
Our arrangements with that consultant have since been terminated following his threat to issue an open letter to the media accusing us of discriminatory behaviour if we did not pay him outstanding fees he claimed were due to him. We considered this behaviour tantamount to blackmail and even though we paid the outstanding balance of the fees he was due he still went to the media with serious allegations against us.
I want to make it very clear: neither myself nor R&S Records recognizes or supports this hurtful and untrue portrayal of us. We consider these claims to be false, vindictive and baseless and this matter is now in the hands of our legal advisors.
Since these allegations appeared we have received widespread support from all those we work with, many of the artists we are proud to represent and the wider industry, for which we are very grateful.
Whilst we believe that our good reputation throughout the long history of R&S Records speaks for itself , we accept that we, like so many in the music industry have much to learn about how to recognise and prevent discrimination if we are to create a fair and equal environment for everyone. For our part, we are taking steps to review every aspect of our company and our operations to ensure that we attain the standards we have set ourselves.
I hope this clarifies the situation and reassures you but if you would to discuss anything in more detail my door is always open .