Gerald Levin

Steve Ross

Ice T’s

Time Warner

Cop Killer

Wall Street Journal

At the core of this debate is chairman Gerald Levin, 56, who took over for the late Steve Ross in 1992. On the financial front, Levin is under pressure to raise the stock price and reduce the company's mountainous debt, which will increase to 17.3 billion after two new cable deals close. He has promised to sell off some of the property and restructure the company, but investors are waiting impatiently. The flap over rap is not making life any easier for him. Levin has consistently defended the company's rap music on the grounds of expression. In 1992, when Time Warner was under fire for releasing Ice-T's violent rap song Cop Killer, Levin described rap as a lawful expression of street culture, which deserves an outlet. 'The test of any democratic society,' he wrote in a Wall Street Journal column, 'lies not in how well it can control expression but in whether it gives freedom of thought and expression the widest possible latitude, however disputable or irritating the results may sometimes be. We won't retreat in the face of any threats.'
56岁的现任董事长杰拉德•列文是争论的焦点人物,他于1992年接替已故董事长斯蒂夫•罗斯。财政方面,他承受着使股价升值,减少公司巨额债务的压力。在两笔新的有线电视交易谈妥后,公司债务将达到173亿美元。他也允诺出售部分资产并对公司进行重组,但现在投资者们仍在焦急地等待着。 人们对说唱音乐的焦虑并没使他的日子好过一些。列文一向以表现方式为理由来捍卫公司的说唱音乐。1992年公司因出品Ice-T乐队暴力的说唱歌曲《警察杀手》后倍受谴责时,列文却将说唱音乐描述为街头文化的合法表达方式,并说它应该有自己的宣泄途径。他在《华尔街日报》一篇专栏文章中写道:“对任何一个民主社会的检验,不在于它能多有效的控制情感的表达,而在于是否给予了人们最广泛的思考和表达自由,尽管有时这种结果会引起争论和愤怒。我们不会在任何威胁面前退却。”