Thomas Oliver stripped of his Silver Scroll award following assault and harassment allegations

Thomas Oliver stripped of his Silver Scroll award following assault and harassment allegations
Photo credit: YouTube/Thomas Oliver

Wellington musician Thomas Oliver has been stripped of his Silver Scroll Award after admitting to grasping a woman by her throat in a drunken incident following a music event. 

A statement issued by the Australasian Performing Right Association Limited (APRA) on Thursday said that Oliver and his management team had been advised his Silver Scroll Award for his track 'If I Move To Mars' would be revoked and his name removed from the award records and the trophy itself. 

"We have been concerned and disappointed to hear of the actions of Thomas Oliver - an artist and songwriter who received a Silver Scroll Award in 2016. These kinds of behaviours have no place in our music community," the statement read. 

"Our primary concerns are for those directly impacted by his actions, and we hope that anyone affected might consider the independent services available to them for support, advice, or to take a complaint forward if they want to do so." 

Anthony Healey, APRA's Head of NZ Operations, said the matter had been "taken seriously and considered deeply". 

"Our position in relation to matters of safety, sexual harm and harassment is clear, we have no tolerance of it," he said. 

APRA said it "acknowledged Oliver's public admission of the assault, and his apology", adding it supported his "pursuit of rehabilitation" and would "continue to work with him and support him in his process" where it could. 

Oliver admitted to "grasping a woman by her throat" while "black-out drunk" in a since-deleted statement shared online in which he claimed he had been the subject of "assault and harassment allegations". 

The singer/songwriter said he denied "all but one" of the accusations made about him, admitting one was "mostly true" and saying he wished to "take responsibility for his actions". 

Oliver said he was "deeply regretful, deeply remorseful and deeply sorry" for an incident in which he followed a female acquaintance and "grasped her throat with his hand" after she said no when he asked to kiss her. 

The guitar player went on to take aim at other allegations against him that had been shared on an online forum, seemingly referring to music and radio industry whistle-blowing Instagram account Beneath The Glass Ceiling NZ. 

Oliver called the accusations "malicious, conspiring and untrue", but also admitted the 2017 incident was not the first time he had woken up with no memory of the night before. 

He later replaced his original statement with a follow-up post claiming he had reflected on his remarks and realised he "hadn't owned his actions with the deep and sincere accountability that he intended to".

Oliver said he would be stepping away from the music industry "for the foreseeable future" while he sought professional help to "better himself". 

APRA said it would be reviewing its terms and conditions for participation in its awards and programmes, as well as its complaints procedures.