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 OR accurately, has spawned a stream of negative online reactions from persons, perfect strangers who 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. The idea that I would make such a declaration, and to actually publish such, was clearly done by someone who absolutely doesn't know my personal history and/or was adhering to an agenda that I do not support nor subscribe to.

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 deliberately omitted, by the way. 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 were 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 bitter commentary. So, my statements 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. Both Facebook and Twitter platforms give voice to many people 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. Unmonitored, biased and irrational opinions from "outsiders looking in" is a true abuse of the internet, which was intended to be a medium utilized for research and communication, but has devolved into a lair for angry trolls.

With this in mind, there needs to be more 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.

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

Lindsey Horner

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
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.

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.
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.

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.
Silvia Rambaldi
I had no idea you were going through this, dear Greg. So very sorry. You have my full support.
Gary Osby
You can call me anytime.
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!
Curtis Torian
35 plus years of support G...👍🏾👌🏾✊🏾
Maikel Vistel
Siento mucho q este pasando por esta situación greg, recibe un gran apoyo de maikel y jorge vistel, un fuerte abrazo
Charyn Harris
We gotchu
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.
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
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
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.
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 !
Ronald Mahdi
Thanks for clearing the air.