Top Executive Leaves Billboard After Being Accused of Suppressing Stories About Sexual Harassment


John Amato, a Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter magazine executive accused of keeping writers from reporting on the alleged sexual harassment of Charlie Walk, has stepped down from the company.

In stories published earlier this year by Rolling Stone and the newsletter Lefsetz Letter, Republic Records executive Charlie Walk was accused of serial sexual harassment spanning several decades, ultimately resigning from the label. But Walk may have had some help from Amato in covering up his alleged misconduct, according to a story published by The Daily Beast in May. And now the New York Times reports that Amato has resigned from his position as the chief executive of Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group, without any explanation.

The Daily Beast story interviewed a half-dozen “high level” sources who detailed how Amato, who had a documented friendship with Walk, repeatedly asked to review stories on Walk, which resulted in the stories never being published. Even a story that was just an aggregation of allegations about Walk was also removed with no comment from Billboard’s website. Amato’s close watch over the Walk story was alarming to staffers as he was rarely involved in the editorial process.

“It’s not smart to tell reporters, many of whom are female, what is valuable to report and not to report in #metoo, especially when you’re not a journalist yourself, and you’re just pretending to be one to keep your friends happy,” one anonymous staffer told The Daily Beast at the time.

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