Both the #MeToo and #TimesUp grassroots campaigns have led to the professional downfalls of many men in entertainment, politics and sports, including Nashville publicist, Kirt Webster. His firm Webster and Associates represented many names including Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, the Oak Ridge Boys, Justin Moore and Kid Rock.
The company rebranded in fall 2017 after a former client and several employees came forward with allegations of workplace misconduct against Webster.
Rock touched on the allegations against Webster when CMT Hot 20 Countdown recently caught up with him on the set of the “American Rock ’n’ Roll” music video. Co-written by hitmakers Joey Hyde, Aaron Eshius and Neil Medley, the new single is the latest release from his first Nashville-made album, Sweet Southern Sugar.
“I would say Kirt Webster has been nothing but great to me and kind to me and helped me out in a lot of situations,” he said. “Every time I’ve been to jail he’s been there to get me out.
“I was shocked as everyone else was to find out that was going on,” he added, “and there’s some of it where I’m like, ’That’s terrible,’ and some of it I’m like, ’Is that true?’ It’s unfortunate, but it’s great it has come to the forefront. But you just hope the truth comes out.”
He also acknowledged rock ’n’ roll’s history of misbehavior admitting that it’s been traditionally accepted was part of the norm.
“In my younger days,” he said, “we always approached things like, you know, we can have a great time and get wild after a show whether it’s women, drugs, this, that and the other, and you’re young and doing it, it’s kind of the handbook.
“I personally always treated everyone right and with respect, made sure someone had something to eat or got a ride home. And if you were getting wild, you didn’t treat people badly.”
Rock also believes that the #TimesUp movement has the potential to implicate the innocent.
“It’s a tough situation. I think a lot of it is great, but I also think it’s being taken advantage of … Whoever’s not done something stupid at one point in their life cast the first stone, especially all you Christians out there.”
There were several moments of political and social commentary that were scripted and unscripted on Sunday’s (Jan. 28) 60th annual Grammy Awards.
Red carpet arrivals brought the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements to the show by wearing white roses to support the fight against sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace and show solidarity with survivors of misconduct.
Kesha staged one of the night’s most talked-about performances. Backed by the Resistance Revival Chorus, which is an offshoot of the women’s march, the Nashville native sang “Praying” flanked by many supportive voices including Camila Cabello, Andra Day, Cyndi Lauper, Bebe Rexha and Julia Michaels.
The pop power ballad was nominated for best pop solo performance, and she wrote it as a way to heal from the depression she experienced during her sexual harassment cases against her former producer Dr. Luke.
R&B artist Janelle Monáe introduced Kesha’s powerful performance. “Women from all sectors of the business, we are also daughters, wives, mothers, sisters and human beings,” she said. “We come in peace, but we mean business.”