Friday, July 1, 2022

Capitol Records Responds to Former Exec Who Called Tina Turner N-Word

*Capitol Records has responded to a claim made in HBO’s new “Tina” documentary that a former executive in the early 80s called the music icon the N-word

The doc features audio from the late John Carter, who was an A&R executive at Capitol Records in the ’80s and credited for bringing Tina Turner to the label. He recalls the pushback against the singer at the time. 

“The new regime comes in and like any new regime – they have their own idea of what they want to do. So I flip out, go downstairs and I say, ‘Hey, this is my act.’ And the classic quote is, ‘Carter, you signed this old n—- douchebag?’” Carter said in the clip. He does not specify which exec made the disparaging remarks, but Don Zimmerman ran the label at the time and he himself reportedly laughed at the idea of Turner joining the team. He passed away in 2020.

“When Carter told me they were signing Tina, I said, ‘Have you lost your mind?’ confessed Zimmerman, according to a book about the history of Capitol Records published by Taschen. “But I was laughing as I said it,’” he added.

READ MONTH: Tina Turner’s New HBO Documentary: A Farewell to Fans?

In a statement to TheWrap, a Capitol Label Group spokesperson condemned the “reprehensible and appalling” racist comments.

“The incident that John Carter describes in the HBO documentary, ‘Tina,’ would have occurred 40 years ago when Capitol was under different ownership and management, and we’re only now learning of those reprehensible and appalling comments,” the statement said. “Capitol Music Group is proud of our association with Tina Turner and the role we play in ensuring her music will continue to inspire new generations for decades to come.”

In related news, per TheWrap, HBO’s “Tina” documentary drew more than 1.1 million total viewers across all HBO platforms on Saturday night, making it the biggest premiere for an HBO documentary since 2019’s “Leaving Neverland.”

“Tina” chronicles the highs and lows of Turner’s rise to fame. It features interviews with the music icon as well as never-before-seen footage, audio, and personal photos. The new documentary also highlights how Turner overcame some of her painful professional and personal struggles during her rise to global superstardom.

The project is described as a farewell to fans. The 81-year-old artist has suffered from a stroke, battled cancer, and received a kidney transplant in 2017. She now prefers to live the last chapter of her life out of the spotlight.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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