Sony is being accused of carrying out a racially charged vendetta against a well-known publicist,” TMZ reports. Courtney Barnes, who has been linked to artists such as Brandy and Fantasia in the past, insists that he was not only targeted, but fired by Sony executives because he’s black.
The way the story is being told, Courtney was hired to work as Fantasia’s publicist approximately one year ago; however, he was fired just days later by the “Side Effects Of You” singer’s manager. Courtney claims that the manager told him that the Vice President at Sony, Sarah Dennison, hated him and wanted him fired. He also alleges that he was told that the V.P. was so adamant about Courtney being let go that she threatened to sabotage Tasia.
According to Courtney, Sarah’s negative opinions about him were formed solely off of hearsay and rumors that he engages in “shady business practices.” As for where the alleged racism comes into play in the whole fiasco, Courtney says “shady business practices” is code for racism. To make matters more interesting, he adds that outside of a brief handshake, he has never even dealt with Sarah, which would make it impossible for her to form a substantive opinion about him.
Courtney argues that the firing totally ruined his career and that Dennison’s negative campaign against him also cost him a job with Brandy. As a result, he’s suing Sarah and Sony for $250,000 in damages, which is the amount he says he would’ve made had Sarah not tainted his career. Sony, however, claims the entire lawsuit is baseless.