Earlier this week, Rolling Stone published an in-depth report about the prevalent culture in country radio systemically looking the other way when young artists—mostly women—are taken advantage of, harassed and often expected to be receptive to inappropriate behavior by older men in the radio industry.
After an investigation by the Nashville Police Department into allegations by former country music performer Austin Rick that he was sexually assaulted on numerous occasions by powerful country music publicist Kirt Webster, the investigators found sufficient evidence to believe Rick’s story.
A bevy of headlines from numerous country music media sources incensed about the restrictions being put on media emerged in the aftermath of the CMA asking media to not focus on the Las Vegas tragedy or politics in the CMA red carpet, cascading into the internet fury we so regularly see in the current political climate.
It happens every single day. Hungry individuals from all around the country and world move to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a dream of making it big in music. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that the rash of sexual assault and harassment claims emerging in American society eventually made its way to Nashville.
Webster Public Relations—one of country music’s largest publicity firms that represents artists as far ranging as Dolly Parton to Justin Moore to Kid Rock—has ceased operations after its president and CEO Kirt Webster was accused of sexual assault by a former artist represented by the firm, followed by other sexual assault claims.
Kirt Webster, who is the President and CEO of the prolific Webster Public Relations firm based in Nashville, has been accused of sexual assault and molestation by a former artist. In great detail, Austin Rick, who performed under the name Austin Cody in the late oughts.