Fox is ficially extending ‘The Four’ into a second season. But will embattled judge Charlie Walk make the cut?
As the house that Charlie Walk built burns to the ground, Fox is delicately sidestepping the inferno. As serious allegations sexual abuse and assault started piling up, Walk ‘voluntarily’ bowed out the show’s season one finale. Now, it looks like Fox is trying to figure out how to properly deal with ‘the Walk problem’.
Just this morning, Fox announced that it would be extending its contest show. But tellingly, the network didn’t even mention Charlie Walk’s name in its second season announcement. Other judges DJ Khaled, Diddy, and Carrie Underwood were confirmed for season two, along with the show’s host, Fergie.
On Fox’s ‘The Four’ website, Walk hasn’t been scrubbed. The Republic Group executive remains in clips and throughout the site, as does his bio under the judges section.
But tellingly, Walk is cut out the front page image (see above).
According to The Deal’s Dominic Patten, Walk is unlikely to join the cast next season:
“While such a return by Walk looks increasingly unlikely, I’ve learned that in fact Season 2 contracts for fellow judges Sean Combs, DJ Khaled and Meghan Trainor have not been inked yet either. However, unlike say the changing coaching panel The Voice, all three are expected to be back next season as a replacement for Walk is sought.”
In a statement, Fox executive Rob Wade specifically avoided mentioning Walk. “The Four is truly a next-generation show,” said Wade, who heads Alternative Series & Specials at the network. “It has pushed past the boundaries traditional music competition series by focusing on recording artists in an epic battle to become a superstar.
“And for the winner, guided by music giants Sean “Diddy” Combs, DJ Kahled, Meghan Trainor and Republic Records, this is just the beginning. We’d like to thank our panel, our ringleader, Fergie, the contestants and our incredible production team for delivering concert-quality shows every week. And we look forward to pushing the boundaries even further in Season Two.”
Meanwhile, Walk is getting subsumed by an increasingly ugly intra-industry battle.
That includes a high-prile battle with Bob Lefsetz. Walk’s bulldog attorneys — who also represent Harvey Weinstein — decided to pick on Lefsetz earlier this week. Walk attorney Thomas Clare issued a stern cease-and-desist to the noted industry critic, demanding retractions, apologies, and takedowns anything relating to his client.
Lefsetz, armed with the power-attorneys at King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, LLP, blasted back his own little nastygram. And his posts and emails have remained intact.
Separately, DMN has been approached by ex-RIAA president Hilary Rosen, who is representing Walk accuser Tristan Coopersmith. Rosen clarified that she isn’t Coopersmith’s attorney, but pointed to a bank Times Up barristers who’ve got her back. Exactly who will be managing the mountain paperwork required to defend against Walk’s legal armada remains uncertain, however — and that’s a lot hours that will probably be pro bono.
Walk remains suspended at UMG super-division Republic Group, where Walk is still ficially President. But Walk’s decision to seriously ‘lawyer up’ means that Universal is undoubtedly considering its next steps carefully. An outright dismissal without proper cause could result in a serious lawsuit.
Fox undoubtedly has the same problem to consider.
More as this develops.