Several members of New Edition recently made a trek to “The Breakfast Club” to chat about their reunion as RBRM, going on tour and Bobby Brown’s upcoming BET mini-series. But the problem surrounding the trademark for the iconic group’s name has spurred a heated response from Johnny Gill.
“It doesn’t have to do with the ownership of the name, but it does have to do with differences, the reason why all six of us are not sitting here right now,” DeVoe explains Thursday, Aug. 23.
When asked why Gill and Tresvant own the band’s moniker, Bivins explained that it was “just sitting out there” and it was an “oversight” for the other bandmates.
“We workin’ on it now but I feel as though when [manager] Brooke [Payne] gave it to us — me, Ricky and Bob — on a piece of paper, that’s it. The truth is in the moment. We’re not gonna argue about the name. We built the name. Johnny came into the name. It’s just fun times. … I know we gon’ get back together ’cause we always do.”
However, it doesn’t seem Gill, who caught wind of the chatter from messages he received after vacationing, is sharing quite the same harmonious outlook.
“If you notice, Ralph and I have yet to respond to the accusations surrounding the NE trademark, as airing out internal issues can rarely be seen as integral. This matter truthfully has nothing do to with the trademark name. We all had a conversation regarding having all ACTIVE MEMBERS of NE names on it to protect the integrity of the group.
“Ralph and I suggested that we put together an agreement amongst all of us that no one person would ever use the name of the group individually but that it would always be used by the group collectively so as to avoid any ambiguity by having multiple variations of New Edition in use,” he added.
Gill went on to say there were never any intentions to disallow all of the group members from owning the name. The intent was simply to draw up an agreement to protect the group’s integrity. He also took aim at RBRM for hiring attorneys to settle the trademark issue, slamming his bandmates for “behaving in a way that’s disrespectful to our legacy.”
After taking issue with his fellow NE members putting their problems on social media, he also made it clear he won’t publicly talk about this issue again.
“This is my first and last time addressing the nonsense, the deceit, the manipulation and more importantly, the lies! God bless,” he signed off the memo.
In response to Gill’s lengthy message, many fans weighed in with decidedly different views.
“Well said! Fly above the foolishness. Thank you.”
“@realjohnnygill22 Reading your post made Boys 2 Men play in my head. I’m glad you have grown and matured. As a fan and a homeboy, I wish you and the group well.”
“Y’all f—ed up the opportunity to capitalize off the success of the movie. That chance will NEVER come back. It’s totally disrespectful that YOU of all ppl own the name along with Ralph when you didn’t start with the first 3 CDs. A disgrace.”
“I won’t be going to see any tours until all six are together. After the movie, true NE fans expected more. Let’s get it together fam #NE4LIFE♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️.”