<> at Randall's Island on June 8, 2013 in New York City.

Dirty Projectors’ Amber Coffman Calls Out Publicist, Many Follow Suit

Update 5:10 p.m.:
Life or Death PR has issued the following statement:
Life or Death has a zero tolerance policy for the type of conduct alleged in today’s on-line postings. We take these allegations very seriously.
The men and women who make up this company do not, and will not, condone or tolerate any conduct described in the on-line postings. Life Or Death is 3 men and 3 women who are committed to promoting art and serving the clients that we’re so privileged to represent. We are taking measures to ensure that the alleged behavior did not, and will not, make its way into company operations or impact our commitment to promoting art and assisting our clients.
We are grateful to Heathcliff Berru for all the work he’s done to date and his creative vision at the company. We appreciate and support his decision to step down as CEO of Life Or Death.

Last night, Amber Coffman from Dirty Projectors (also the vocalist on Major Lazer‘s Get Free) had had enough. She took to Twitter to vent her frustration after retelling a story about how a certain publicist rubbed her ass in front of four men, and bit her hair; in other words, he sexually assaulted her.

In a series of tweets, she went onto say how not only is she mad at him for doing such a depraved act, but also mad at herself for “not punching him in the nose,” before calling out the publicist as Heathcliff Berru, founder of Life Or Death PR & Management. Life Or Death’s roster include acts like Odd FutureDIIV and D’Angelo, so it’s obvious Berru is quite a powerful figure in the music industry. It also makes it all the more shocking to see how many more women came out and shared their awful stories of Berru and his penchant for sexually assaulting women.


Young TurksFlying LotusArcaBest Coast‘s Bethany Cosentino and many more have already thanked Coffman for sharing this and calling him out, with many now boycotting Berru and his firm as well as giving support to Berru’s other victims.

The decision to come forward about this incident is not one that Coffman would have made lightly. It happened a few years ago, and as she said above, she had been told that other women shared in this awful experience. The fact that it’s common knowledge enough for countless women to have experienced Berru’s unwanted advances/harassment/assault yet it’s swept under the rug immediately diminishes the feelings of his victims. How do they feel, having had this man do whatever he wants to them, then having it “forgotten” about or ignored? How do they feel when people keep hiring him, even though they know his history? What does that do to his victims’ voices? It silences them, and allows this behaviour to continue.

The women who shared their accounts last night on Twitter are very brave, and should be applauded for doing so. Sexual assault and harassment in any form is never okay, and the higher up it goes, the more important it is to call it out. Stop hiring sexual predators and listen to what your peers and colleagues are saying. Stand by them, because coming forward is not an easy thing to do, and believe them.

Let’s hope Berru sees some swift justice for his actions.

Read more:

“The Only Place For Women Is Backstage On Their Knees” – A Discussion About Misogyny In Music
Watch Pitchfork Senior Editor Jessica Hopper’s Incredible Speech About Women In Music

Image via Stereogum