Corporations wield power and expect appropriate behaviour from their associates.
Accusations of rape, sexual abuse, and beatings will see big companies pulling away and disassociating themselves from persons caught in that web.
Hip-Hop mogul and founder of clothing line Sean John, Sean Combs a.k.a. “Diddy” found himself facing a lawsuit from his former girlfriend Cassie who accused him of rape and abuse.
He settled with her for an undisclosed sum a day after the suit was made public but is fending off successive lawsuits citing sexual abuse from other women.
His reputation is taking a beating and his future is questionable with many believing he may share the same fate as R. Kelly.
American retail giant Macy’s has decided to drop his Sean John brand. In 2010 Combs signed a distribution agreement with Macy’s worth millions. Now that’s gone.
Other companies are likely to pull away if he fails to exonerate himself. The onus is on him to clear his name.
Rap stars and entertainers can’t go around abusing women and continue to live “ large”. It appears that Diddy will now have to fight off a number of claims. It’s not good enough to be dismissive and scoff and say these women and accusers are all scamming him for money.
Right now the spotlight is on the black American entertainment world as accusations and news of marital strife abound.
Adidas has already decided to cut ties with Kanye West.
Alcoholic drinks giant Diageo who owns Red Stripe in Jamaica has distanced itself from Diddy after a protracted legal battle. They will see this situation as vindication for dropping him as the face of DeLeon tequila and Ciroc vodka.
Diddy says Diageo is sanctioning him because of racism and has “urbanised” both DeLeon and Ciroc.
In court documents, Diageo wrote: “ The new public and disturbing accusations against him risk devastating and permanent damage to the tequila brand.”
Diddy has a lawsuit against Diageo. It’s yet another legal battle he is undertaking. How many of those can he be engaged in continually?
Now social media is awash with memes like “ Surviving Diddy” with former associates and those on the periphery coming out of the woodwork with outlandish allegations.
A reputable corporation wants none of that. That kind of toxicity is repellant. It’s going to be a long and hard road for Diddy from here on. He is going to need every breath he takes.
Companies are now likely to take a closer look at their celebrity deals. Jamie Foxx is also accused of sexual assault and he too will have to battle to clear his name. Again he faces the prospect of brands pulling away from him.
In this Me Too/feminism era black male entertainers have to be very careful. There is so much at stake.
Diageo has ended its 15-year partnership with Diddy citing the rape claims.
Only this week it was announced that Diddy has stepped down as Chairman of Revolt TV which he founded.
Earlier this year Diddy talked about building a black-owned media empire with an eye on the BET Media Group.
Diddy said: “ We have some representation…Shout out and all due respect to everybody that in power. But for most people, there’s still somebody over them, a white man that they have to get permission from to do something. And it’s always been the same, no matter the industry
“Diversity isn’t about inclusion; diversity is about sharing power. And nothing has changed. It’s gotten worse.”
The question is, who will want to do business with Diddy now? Does he need to go away for a while and reinvent himself, return perhaps as an elder in the game?