Face the music: Universal Music Group and Warner Media pull out of Russia
Universal Music Group has suspended all operations in Russia and closed its offices in the country, the company announced last night.
In a statement, the music giant said: “Effective immediately, we are suspending all operations in Russia and closing our offices there.”
“We urge an end to the violence in Ukraine as soon as possible. We are adhering to international sanctions and, along with our employees and artists, have been working with groups from a range of countries (including the U.S., U.K., Poland, Slovakia, Germany, Czech Republic and Hungary) to support humanitarian relief efforts to bring urgent aid to refugees in the region.”
The music group owns and operates frontline record companies including Capitol, Motown, Republic and Virgin EMI.
Last week, the world’s biggest rights holder giant also posted on Instagram: “We stand with our partners who are on the ground delivering urgent humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees”, and called on members of the public to donate.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, over 200 multi-national companies have boycotted the Russian market in protest.
Louis Tomlinson, Nick Cave and Franz Ferdinand are among some of music’s big-names who have cancelled upcoming performances in Russia.
It is understood that Sony Music will follow similar moves over the next 24-48 hours to cut activity with Russia.
In the movie world, WarnerMedia announced this afternoon that it would pause all new business in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
“We are following this situation closely,” CEO Jason Kilar said in the note to staff, “And future business decisions will be made with that context in mind”, he wrote.
WarnerMedia, which owns brands like HBO Max and CNN, will cease television broadcasts in Russia, halt new content licensing deals and pause planned theatrical and game releases.
** Sony Music have since released the following statement as per 10 March: “Sony Music Group calls for peace in Ukraine and an end to the violence. We have suspended operations in Russia and will continue our support of global humanitarian relief efforts to aid victims in need.”