Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Straight Talk, From The Source

Following the publishing of several articles which focus on the #metoo and sexual harassment issues of late, I felt that it was necessary for me to post, in context, the ACTUAL statements that I made to a journalist in a piece which was released in November 2017. The article, which did not include my answers in their entirety, has spawned a stream of negative online reactions from persons, perfect strangers, that I have never met, have never heard my music and don't know anything about me at all. While I am perplexed by the enormity and intensity of the reactions, I must admit that those few printed statements, in their current form, do appear as if I was condoning sexual misconduct or that I was making disrespectful references to someone's personal appearance. What appeared in that article was an out of context account of what I actually said during that interview, particularly because I have commented on this very serious issue quite frequently among friends, in lectures and in other interviews in recent times. And as a bandleader, producer, curator and educator, I have some very illuminating opinions about the subject from every possible perspective. (which I spoke at length about during the interview but were NOT printed.)

These types of allegations have become very common of late, and anyone that is accused of impropriety is automatically assumed to be guilty, which is not just. I, for one, will not accept being placed in a position of blame and I fully intend to address this situation professionally and legally. I refuse to simply let it "go away."

As my case is now nearing litigation, I can only offer a limited amount of details, but here are the statements that were printed in the article followed by the ACTUAL and complete statements that I made:

"Bottom line is, and this is a bit harsh, if anyone saw my girlfriend at that time and saw [his Berklee accuser] that would probably end the argument,” Osby said. “Why would I jeopardize my career for somebody like that?”

The full statement that I actually made was “I was in a new relationship which was a much needed and stabilizing force in my life at the time and if anyone knew my girlfriend, that would probably end the argument. They would know that I wouldn’t jeopardize my reputation or job over someone like that”

"Someone like that" was spoken in reference to the woman's behavior, which prompted me to move apartments to an undisclosed location, among other instances which will be revealed once my case becomes a matter of public record. I DID NOT say "someone who LOOKS like that," as has been erroneously repeated and printed.

I have no idea what "Bottom line is, and this is a bit harsh" means. It HAD to have been in reference to something entirely different.

Also, the statement “but after they graduate, it's open season” was also pulled from over an hour’s worth of my interview and suggests that I was actually condoning misconduct and predatory behavior, which is utterly ridiculous. (I don't know ANY other man that has advocated, stood up for, hired, recommended, signed, mentored, supported or sponsored more women than I have. I've lost gigs, had numerous arguments, fights and even been kicked out of venues defending my female friends and colleagues.The entire series of events resulting from the article has spiraled completely out of control.)

The entire statement that I made (which was also severely edited) was actually “I’ve taught at many schools where internal relationships are quite common…but after they graduate, people are civilians who are no longer under the jurisdiction of an institution and are free to make personal choices to do as they wish, so for some, it's open season or a free for all as far as dating choices are concerned, but many of my colleagues and teachers at other schools choose not to wait, and open cavorting and dating with enrolled students can be fairly common at schools and even rampant." What I said was NOT an endorsement, and should not be interpreted as such. I clearly said, "for SOME," not "for ME." It is incredible that persons would think that I would make a public endorsement of sexual misconduct. That's insane.

IT WAS BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION THAT THE JOURNALIST DID NOT RECORD OR MAKE A TRANSCRIPT OF THIS INTERVIEW. ONLY SELECTED WORDS AND FRAGMENTED STATEMENTS WERE PUBLISHED.) It has actually happened to me before, many times, but not to this degree of harm to my character or career. I have done hundreds of interviews in my long career and I know well enough not to make spiteful or insulting comments. I had absolutely no reason to assume that practically everything I spoke about would be omitted and yet, a great deal of emphasis would be put on a few well-placed, isolated snippets, offered for their negative shock value.

So yes, I did say "open season" during the interview. However, that phrase was part of an extended dialog, all of which was omitted. I would NEVER be so insensitive as to offer a singular hunting metaphor in reference to this issue unless it addressed a greater point (which I was attempting to make). Perhaps a different choice of words or reference would have made a better illustration, but it absolutely was not done with malicious intent and anyone that TRULY knows me is completely aware of this. (99% of the comments directed at me online are from persons who have never met me, DON'T know my work and wouldn't know me if I was standing directly in front of them.)
And let me be clear, I am not offering this post as some sort of lame attempt at damage control or as any other tactic designed to "clear the air." I am presenting it in response to my many friends who have urged me to say SOMETHING, and not remain silent even as my legal team is preparing their argument. I also recognize that the internet in general and social media in particular are a haven for idle talk and angry commentary. So my words here are not directed towards those who have never supported me before, nor those who delight in making uninformed noise in threads and comment sections. Facebook and Twitter gives voice to many who simply want to be acknowledged, regardless if the content of their posts is factual or rational. For them, it doesn't matter. Their only aim is to get online and shout obscenities from the security of their homes.

With this in mind, there also needs to be a respectful dialog concerning how easily random accusations cause a massive rush to judgement by the court of public opinion - WITHOUT KNOWING THE FACTS. Because of the frequency of these instances, the issues must be investigated from EVERY perspective. I'll conclude by saying that once my evidence is revealed, I'll be curious to find how many of my cyber-based critics retract and/or delete their pointed and harsh posts, or are reasonable enough to admit publicly that they reacted prematurely.

Thank you for reading.

Steve Meizell
Steve Meizell I love you.
Neal Fountain
Neal Fountain Even the small amount of time we spent together, i know these accusations are BS! I hope you get this cleared up
Greg Osby
Greg Osby Thanks. It's being handled, Bro.

Neal Fountain
Neal Fountain Excellent!
Leslie Carey
Leslie Carey Greg Osby I have always known you as a true Gentleman. You have my full support!

Greg Osby
Greg Osby Thanks, John. Now I have a legitimate term for it.
Sara Shute
Sara Shute I know you and support you fully.
Heidi Martin Halima
Heidi Martin Halima In any of our interactions I’ve felt nothing but Respected!!!
Pedro Marinho da Silva
I don't know what goes on but we re together against any kind of injustice.
I am on your side!
Sounds and Feelings bro!
Abreijazz from Lisbon.
Political persecution?
Love All, Serve All Greg Osby.
:) <3

Camille Gainer Jones Page III
Love and respect to u OZ, I can't wait to play that tune you wrote for the band. Keep Ya Head Up!!!! I remember countless times you stood up for me!!! Thank u my dear friend!!! #ASE!!!!
Chelsea Baratz
If these awful journalists keep it up, falsely accused & villainized men will need their own #MeToo campaign. I don’t say that lightly as a sexual assault survivor either. I’ve seen shoddy journalists with little to no journalistic integrity to their work going after innocent men & women in the scene alike.
Lindsey Horner
Lindsey Horner Well said, brother man.

Mary Worm I stand with and for you Brotha. I've known you for the better part of my life and you have always been a solid friend and brother. This too shall pass ❤️
Paul Brewer
Paul Brewer Greg Osby:  
Contemplative, erudite, articulate. And egalitarian above all in human relationships.

And also the one who, more than any other mentor, recognized the true depth of my son, Matt Brewer’s, burgeoning artistry on the bass.

You provided Matt with such a rich environment for artistic growth during those years when he was your bassist, Greg. His debt to you in that regard is incalculable. And he has never spoken of you in words other than respect and gratitude.

I have no doubt that those like Matt whom you have mentored so selflessly will stand with you as one during this challenging time.

William Murray
William Murray Greg, for as long as I’ve known you (and that’s been a few decades), you have always been a gentleman.
V Carlotta Pierce McDaniel
Greg, I’m glad you decided to post this. First let me say, I know exactly what sexual harassment feels like... No one can convince me that you’re capable of this type of conduct. We have resided in the same dwelling, and you have always been respectful. Recently a Congressman I know was accused of sexual misconduct and all he allegedly did was touched the accusers knee and back a few years ago! AND I am saying, he would never have looked at her twice or touched her inappropriately and it’s NOT because she is unattractive or undesirable.
Carlos Averhoff Jr
Carlos Averhoff Jr Greg!
You are the best my friend!

Bruce Bud
Bruce Bud Shame you're having to go thru this Greg. I got nothing but good things to say about your character. Sending positive vibes your way. Stay strong ...
Brad Boucher
Well said Greg. You are one of the most decent & upstanding people I know. Full of integrity & strong & admirable character. Anyone that truly knows you couldn’t picture you speaking like that. I’ve never seen or heard you speak or act disrespectfully or without class.
Good for you for not putting up with this and facing it head on.
Love you Man.

Toia Tutta Jung
Greg Osby, you are a man of integrity.
Roger Woods
Again my Good Brother, you have my support 1000 percent. I'm sorry that you have to deal with this my man. I hope in the final analysis justice is truely served and your good name is cleared of this bs.
Maura Hutchinson Kendall
Maura Hutchinson Kendall The people who know you, know you. We support you.
Silvia Rambaldi
I had no idea you were going through this, dear Greg. So very sorry. You have my full support.
Kia Gibbs
Greg, I have known you for many years now, an never, not once, can I say that you have spoken/acted out of context with me nor anyone in my presence. Some people just need attention and unfortunately, you have been selected as the one to provide them of that. Stay strong and know that the truth will be revealed in the end! God bless!
Daniel García Diego
Daniel García Diego Hey Greg. Sending all my support from Spain. This social network world has gone just insane. Be strong. Truth will always shine at the end. Big hugh!
Alison Crockett
Alison Crockett I’ve known you for years and worked with you. I was very surprised because I never felt anything but respect from you.
Gary Osby
You can call me anytime.
João Barradas
Extremely articulated text. I have always known you as a true role model, and not only musically. Thank you!
Dwayne 'Cook' Broadnax
Yo Os, I've gone toe-to-toe in your defense several times since this article was released, and will continue to. Stay strong blackman!
Calvin X Jones
Greg, we go back to the early 90s and have been on a number of tours over the years. When I read the article I found your "printed" responses strange "compared with" the Os I've come to know over the years. I was misquoted once in an article in my hometown newspaper. Though the article was innocuous to my character and there was no social media at the time I was still the brunt of a few jokes around town. It has made me slow, deliberate and guarded with my responses to the "press." Keep up the fight and thanks for clarification though knowing you I really didn't need it.
Deena Anderson
Our fam got u Osby.
Curtis Torian
35 plus years of support G...👍🏾👌🏾✊🏾
Mary Worm
Too much witch hunting, trial by social media, need to break the story, amateur reporting bullshit going on which makes me steer clear of this circus arena for the most part. I hate that you're even going through this, and the more I think about it, the angrier I get. Whatever happened to fact checking or giving "friends" you "love" the benefit of the doubt until you actually know the whole story!? Love you, Greg.... I'm here whenever you need me.
Maikel Vistel
Siento mucho q este pasando por esta situación greg, recibe un gran apoyo de maikel y jorge vistel, un fuerte abrazo
Laura Razzano
Dear Greg, I am very sorry to hear this news. The sensationalism of these "so called journalists" should be banned but certain society of people feed their lonely existence into gossip. There is a huge market out there. Like you correctly stated the misinformation and the contorted use of social media on Facebook and other platforms is a dangerous tool. My mentor used to often remind me the power of the words, how all the letters of the alphabet can create peace or can create war. Nowadays in these social media platforms with inaccurate news and facts it is very easy to create a very harmful propaganda. See what is happening right now to the Rohingya people by the hateful false statements of Ashin Wirathu, still with an open account on Facebook!! I sustain your point of not just "let it go away", some things have to be addressed and defending yourself from these false accusations is a must. I can empathize with you and see how much of a waste of energy must have been for you. Be strong and stay in the light my friend. The truth will prevail.
Harry Miller
I've known Greg for almost 40 years and I've never known him to be anything but professional, respectful, polite, generous, and dignified--in addition to be one of the most forward thinking and innovative musicians to come along in the modern era. I've also known him to be a champion of women in music. When a journalist deems an individual to be "collateral damage" to be used like fodder in order to serve an agenda or sell papers they should be discredited and ostracized from the profession. I was astonished when I saw some of those reader comments bashing Greg and it shows how easily people can be manipulated and persuaded into believing pretty much anything. Disgraceful!
Anna Wayland
Again, I am 100% in support of Greg, not just cuz I’m acquainted w him, but because I called bullshit from the getgo on that journalist lumping him w others’ allegations and framing his words to look worse etc. It was very clear to me! And the truth behind the other bullshit in litigation, I’m looking quite forward to his vindication and anyone responsible for this mess completely shamed.
Charyn Harris
We gotchu
Lenora Helm Hammonds
Glad you spoke up. Standing with you. Have known you decades. It is all a distraction. Gossip can be hurtful but remember: People gossip because they have low self-esteem and gossiping makes them feel better about who they imagine themselves. There’s a biblical passage that I will paraphrase here: Better though, to answer the silly arguments of fools, less they be thought wise in their own estimation.
Juan Alzate
I express my solidarity, without a doubt you are one of the most honest people I know, like artist and both personally and ethically. I understand your situation perfectly and I fully sympathize with you. All the best for you.
Dane Clark
I haven't heard anything about this situation.... But I know personally because we are friends like brothers that...that type of behavior is not even in your simply are not made like that... You treat everyone with the utmost respect since you were a kid...I always worried my insane behavior would effect you but it never did...being around you made me check my own manners and integrity....sorry you have to even deal with such are moving the right way litigate and expose the truth to its fullest extent...because people love to remember lies more than truth lil ya call me when you come back through to Saint Louis..

Brad Riesau
Hey blippie. Well said. Call me after the holidays and get your butt out to the mtns. Peace.
Gary Sisco
Man, I would never believe such charges against you, Greg.

That's an ignorant hatchet job.

Tracy Stella McEvoy
Knowing you is knowing that you are a true gentleman.
Teresa Miles-Teague
Greg, I had no idea about all this. I've known you for over 30 years and THAT IS NOT...NEVER HAS BEEN...NEVER WILL BE your character. It's pure insanity!
Gary Sisco
Man, I don't know what will happen, though, when they work their way back to the 70s. We'll all be going to jail -- men, women, and others alike. lol
Earle Davis
From the first recording of my
Their for me , I just want you to know I'm here for you 2017
Greg Osby you are a class act
And a very classy cat of the highest level of good man who has nothing but the greatest respect for woman kind , I've known you since
1985 and i must say in all honesty you are the perfect
Gentlemen I have known for 17 and one half years.
Joshua Quinlan
Greg Osby is a hero to many who know him not only for his music but for who he is as a person. He is by far one of the classiest people I have ever met and a supporter of so many females in the jazz community. I hope this all passes by soon Greg and that you are doing ok like the jazz ninja that you are. Pura vida.
Susanne Folk
I am sorry you got pushed into this! Awful! I have only seen you support and treat women with respect. I am so very glad to have become your friend. Absolutely never believed any of this crap. I believe in you and always will!
Judy Niemack
Hey Greg, im glad you posted this. In my experience with you as a performer and fellow educator you’ve been extraordinarily considerate, supportive and gentlemanly with women! I hope this attempt to discredit you is foiled asap. Meanwhile a big hug from Berlin, Judy
Jhelisa Anderson
Greg Osby, You have always been the perfect gentleman, and inspiring mentor to me, this is a season for journalistic irresponsibility, and even targeted character assassinations...Discernment in everything i read and everything i do still does not protect me from "theft of my attention". Rebuttals are necessary for any hope of balance...Thank you for standing up to the poison arrows...Long Live the Truth...Sending BigLove!
Barry Danielian
I’m proud to call Greg a friend for 37 years. In that time I’ve only known him to be a gentleman, a person of integrity in all aspects of his life as well as a one who is deeply devoted to uplifting people through art.
Hang tough, let your lawyers handle this in their arena, and know that we got you!!
The truth always emerges.

Nanner Spatola Fisher
Greg, for as long as I’ve known you (a few years?), you have always been a completely respectful gentleman and I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through all this. It’s all so precarious right now (#metoo) and, while I feel it is so crucial that women be believed, I feel it’s equally important that society doesn’t let the scales tip in the other direction and allow women to have the power to just point a finger, falsely accuse and ruin a man’s life. I know that many men won’t get the opportunity to have their case heard and, although I’m sure it’s very stressful, I’m glad that you will and I hope that truth and justice will prevail for you.
Fabio Rojas
In the years I've known Greg Osby, I've never heard him express himself the way the article says. He is one of the most respectful and correct people I've ever met.
Federica Michisanti
I red your words and I'm so sorry about this bad situation.
For what I know you, you are a great musician, honest person, supporting others, no matter if men or women.
Wish you everything is going to be fine soon!
A big hug!

DrCheryl Denise Oz
It is just AMAZING how one person's accusation is a green light to another person's supposed guilt!!! People are WAY to quick to make assumptions, while not having ALL the facts. Also, I've got to put this out there as well. It certainly appears that when a black man is the accused, there is an automaticity of assumed guilt, while other races are afforded reasonable doubt. I have known you my ENTIRE LIFE, 51 years to be exact and so I can speak (in this case, write) with AUTHORITY as to your character and integrity. This "open-season" on falsehoods, lies, and subterfuge is soon to end. I am proud of you for taking a stand against this malicious act of duplicity.

Tineke Postma
Tineke Postma 
I did not intend to respond, considering that I have no qualification to be a judge in this matter. However, I realise that not responding can be interpreted as an uncaring attitude and a tacit approval of the suggestions that are made in the ‘sexism in jazz’ and ‘Berklee’ articles. And I cannot let that happen. The issues are to complex for that, my friendship with Greg too valuable and my support for certain equality focussed social issues to important.

Sadly, and like many other women, I have experienced in my career some disrespectful abusive behaviour from men - occasionally from women too - who found themselves in a position of power in their professional relationship with me. However, I can say I’ve been treated with dignity and respect most of the time. In this regard I can share that Greg in my presence always behaved in an irreproachable manner both publicly and in private.

To me, Greg is an inspiring, supportive, and professional mentor and colleague. Over the years I’ve had many lessons, mentoring sessions - and later on concerts and recordings - with Greg and in these moments he always expressed himself as a gentleman, treating me righteous and always professional. I always find myself enriched and inspired after our professional interactions. Never abused, never treated disrespectfully.

In the past 15 years, in both The Netherlands and New York, during my tours, recording sessions and teaching practices I have been made aware of the fact that many other women have been treated incorrectly. Many have shared their stories with me. I’ll always condemn all forms of power abuse and always condemn reducing women to objects to be hunted. Shedding light on crucial social themes dealing with equality, gender, respect, professionalism, correct use of power in the workplace and codes of conduct I find very relevant and much needed in our society and in the professional music field today. I support that wherever I can.

I also think that a polarising narrative and premature judgements based on representations in the media will bring us further away from the solution. It could distract us from the deeper story and might divide us more than it could unite us through dialogue and inter-being.

I thank Greg for all his support in my career and wish Greg all the best in this episode.

I wish us all the compassion, depth, wisdom and love to deal in the most meaningful way with all the social relevant complex matters that we are faced with today and which we desire to change in order to make our professional workspaces more righteous, just and more fruitful for all.
Randy Holmes
Greg do not deserve this ! I've personally known him for well over 10 years now, and these false accusations does not reflect his character none the bit ! I support you Greg to the max !
Evan Gregor
Thanks for putting this explanation forward while also speaking to the seriousness of the issue- what effect this can have to the entire narrative and everyone involved. It’s been very disturbing as a former student to hear various things as they’ve been coming up and as you prefaced this, radio silence is always the suggested response. When people are willing to speak this is not a subject to be taking liberties with what people are expressing.
Christian Howes
Greg Osby I’m sorry you are going through this and appreciate your thoughtful statement. I will always be grateful for your generosity towards me as a younger musician when you had nothing to gain. Wishing you the best.
Rafael Aguiar Ruffus
It blows my mind how sometimes we aren't given the benefit of doubt, specially upon such a strong allegation.
And as the name says, "allegations", then to facts and proof there's a long way, this will fall apart in no time, as not only for the lack of any solid evidence, but as for how ludicrous it sounds. Unfortunately, for the many who actually been through the actual experience, and need assistance, this individual will make harder for them to prevail. A person such as yourself, extremely well educated, strong principles, old fashioned and impeccable manners, seems almost like a really bad practical joke, done obviously to bring attract attention to her, and hurt you. I believe, the truth will speak louder. This will soon be behind all of us, we shall focus in what is next from your inventive ideas and musicality.
I have much faith and curiosity to what's next in your career. Keep it strong my friend.
Much love!
Ronald Mahdi
Thanks for clearing the air.

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