Studio 52 is a community artist space located in the heart of Allston, and is proud to support the Boston music scene and local artist community.
According to the internet, Dr. Phil has a net worth of $400 million and an annual salary of $88 million. But that’s not stopping a TV show the former psychologist executive produces from asking for a handout from a small Allston-based independent recording studio.
On Monday afternoon (October 8), Mad Oak Studios received an email from Dr. Phil’s Face The Truth, a daytime CBS show hosted by Vivica A. Fox. Turns out they are having a guest on who is an aspiring singer from Boston, and an associate producer named Nelson emailed Mad Oak asking for some free studio time.
“We’d like to set her up with some free recording sessions at your studio following the show taping,” Nelson writes. “In exchange for the free service, we’d offer to show your company’s logo and also include a verbal mention.”
Mad Oak head engineer and co-owner Benny Grotto was having none of it.
“Your ‘offer’ is absurd to the point of offensive,” Grotto replied in correspondence that can be read in full below, via his Instagram. “Surely Ms Fox or the doctor could see fit to peel off a fraction of a percent from the millions they’re worth to pay a small independent business that serves artists every day?”
Grotto urged Nelson to ask CBS’ pool or producers and CEOs to chip in a bit, and pay themselves the cost of furthering their guest’s musical career. Then he went in for the kill.
“Thank you for the opportunity to assist you in your effort to further devalue arts and artists in this country,” Grotto writes, “by preying on the very people that make your job possible by creating the content you freely exploit so that wealthy corporate interests can further their shitty agenda.”
Grotto asked if Face The Truth’s guest was going to be paid for her appearance, and if she was not, would be in touch directly with her to coordinate session time between Mad Oak and the singer if the show reconsidered its predatory practices.
On social media, Grotto reiterated his stance: “A #tvshow airing on a corporate giant and hosted by @msvfox and produced by @drphil can certainly afford to pay a local #recordingstudio our relatively small fee to #record for a few hours. #artists deserve to #getpaid. Period. #facethetruth, indeed. #swipeforourreply #payartists #standup #stopexploitingartists