Let me start by saying I am not a fan of ‘Trial By Media’. The objective for a television program is eyeballs, not a legal conclusion. That is precisely what a huge brand name like Sony Music can deliver. Four Corners simply opened a door and allowed viewers a peak inside the entertainment industry and it was pretty ugly.
What I hope was achieved for the hundreds of decent people who were scarred for life working in what was basically a ‘Squid Game’ operation was a level on closure.
I also hope that the voiceless artists who were shown but did not speak up to the argument now realize the blood, sweat and (quite literally) tears that went into making their careers. The cost of creating every Guy, Delta and Tina were the dozens of people who had their lives crushed for it to happen.
The Four Corners program was a brutal reminder about how talent is considered product in an industry that treats employees as pawns lined up as collateral damage. Afterall, its just about market share isn’t it?
A lot of the rot started to set into the entertainment industry in Australia in the 1990s when a document titled ‘The Art of War’, by 5th Century BC ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu was adopted by the Austereo radio network as its management philosophy.
The book explains how to plan your war, how to attack your enemy, the placement of your soldiers, identifying your strengths and weaknesses … people didn’t matter if winning was the goal. It became the blueprint for Austereo operations and was soon picked up as a strategy by Sony in Australia.
Radio and record businesses went from entertainment companies to warzones in the 90s. It was not enough to win, your enemy must also lose. The enemy was not just your opposition, it was also the person on your side coming up beneath you. Check it out, it is all there in the book.
If you study Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’ and align it with the Four Corners Sony Music program, you will see that all of that bad behaviour came with a manual. A very ancient one.
The outed behaviour of one man in one company is just the tip of the iceberg. I would imagine that many 90s entertainment industry executives (and many still in the biz) would have taken a gasp at what was broadcast last night. They’re next.
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