The Four, poised to follow in the successful reality TV competition footsteps of The Voice and American Idol, might be over before it has really even gotten started. The show’s potential success is currently being overshadowed by new sexual misconduct allegations made against one of the show’s judges, record company boss Charlie Walk.
Late in the afternoon on Monday, Jan. 29, Life Lab founder Tristan Coopersmith accused Walk of inappropriate behavior that apparently occurred when she worked for him at Sony Music. In an open letter, Coopersmith alleges that she was subjected to lewd comments and sexually explicit text messages. She also said he groped her at business dinners and tried to push her into bed with him on one occasion.
“I remember the girl that took that job,” Coopersmith wrote in her letter. “I remember how confident and vocal she was. How grateful. I remember how motivated and determined she was to crush it, to be a visionary in the industry. But the girl who walked away a year later had shrunk. She no longer looked up when she walked. She became quiet. Her spirit was barely recognizable. She felt confused. She felt diminished. She felt wholeheartedly worthless. She lived in a corrosive pit of shame.”
These accusations are causing big problems for Fox execs in charge of The Four, which is in its freshman season. Possible issues arising from Coopersmith’s allegations and the subsequent decisions on how to handle them could be tied to the fact that Walk is deeply involved with the show. He isn’t just a judge for the show; the winner of the show wins a recording contract with Republic Records, a division of Universal Music Group, which Walk runs.
Universal Music released a statement saying they are looking into the matter. “While it appears this blog post relates to the period prior to Mr. Walk’s appointment to his position at Republic Records, we take the allegations very seriously and intend to conduct a full and complete review of this matter.”
Fox also released a statement on the accusations, explaining, “We are currently reviewing this matter and are committed to fostering a safe environment on all of our shows.”
The show premiered on Jan. 4, 2018, and is scheduled to film its final episode in the final week of January.