Last month, powerful record executive L.A. Reid abruptly stepped down from his position as chairman of Epic Records amid allegations of sexual harassment. Few artists have known Reid longer than the members of TLC, whom Reid famously signed to LaFace Records in the early ’90s. In a new interview with Billboard, TLC’s Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins says that the harassment allegations against Reid “didn’t come as a surprise” to her:
Watkins and [Rozonda “Chilli”] Thomas have seen the best and the worst of the music industry, and while they’re not bitter, they’re honest in a way that some of today’s big stars, who thrive on an air of opaque mystery, perhaps cannot be. There is, for one, their reaction to Reid’s exit from Epic amid sexual harassment allegations. “I hear more people are coming out saying stuff,” says Watkins, as Thomas buries her face in her hands. “I was surprised he was fired, but [the accusations] didn’t come as a surprise. I don’t wish him anything ill. But surprised? No.”
T-Boz isn’t the first person to suggest that industry insiders may have been aware of Reid’s alleged misconduct. Through her lawyer, one of Reid’s female assistants previously accused other Epic executives of failing to act on repeated complaints of harassment.
That’s all TLC are saying about L.A. Reid for now, but you can read the full Billboard feature on their comeback here.