Just one day after the release of PWR BTTM‘s highly anticipated new album, Pageant, new allegations of sexual assault have come to life. The band’s lead singer, Ben Hopkins, has been accused of unwanted sexual physical contact against multiple people in the LGBT community.
If you are not familiar with Ben Hopkins and Liv Bruce, they make up an indie-pop band who is often credited with raising awareness of the LGBT community in the indie music scene which makes these allegations even more damaging. On a Twitter post earlier this week an anonymous female fan recounts her experience of Hopkins initiating inappropriate contact even after she declined. The post spread like wild fire through the LGBT and DIY online forums and even brought out more serious accusations from queer women and those close to queer women accusing the PWR BTTM leader of inappropriate behavior according to Billboard.
The accusation caused the band to release a lengthy statement addressing the claims in which they stated that the allegations came to them as a surprise. However, they are attempting to address them with accountability and openness. The statement went on to say the their primary goal is to be sure that any survivor of abuse does not have their voice taken away, that they should be able to share their story and be heard. People who cross the line must be held accountable. What this means for the band, our album, our fans and our upcoming tours is, as of yet, unclear.
The actions that PWR BTTM will be taking to sort this out is a great start. The duo have set up an email address where the alleged victims or representatives of the victims can reach out and solve the situation via mediation. Many people continue to call the band out for their hypocrisy of taking advantage of the LGBT community’s trust but others applaud PWR BTTM for addressing the situation head on instead of simply denying the claims.
As far as the future of the band’s musical venture, things don’t look good. They were not only dropped by their management, Salty Artist Management, and their album is no longer being carried by Polyvinyl according to Pitchfork. Bands who had future commitments with PWR BTTM reportedly have pulled out when a picture of Ben Hopkins surfaced lying in the sand next to a swastika, obviously making the situation much worse.
Liv Bruce is facing major backlash for continuing to associate with his co-member but there is no word on if Bruce has any plans of removing himself from the situation.
What doyou think the future of PWR BTTM looks like? Is this the end of the line for the duo? Let us know in the comment section below!
By Rikkaya Wilson
Photo Courtesy Twitter