After allegations emerged overnight on Thursday (11th May) involving Ben Hopkins, PWR BTTM’s management and touring members have made statements that they will no longer be working with the band.
“We do not take these kind of allegations lightly,” Salty Artist Management wrote on Facebook yesterday (12th May), “and our thoughts are with victims and survivors of abuse who have been affected by this.”
Touring members Cameron West and Nicholas Cummins had both severed ties earlier that day, with the band’s album launch show in NYC - new album ‘Pageant’ was released yesterday - cancelled.
The original accusations appeared in the closed Facebook group DIY Chicago, with poster Kitty Cordero-Kolin declaring Ben a “known sexual predator”. They then began circulating on both Twitter and Reddit, with more alleged survivors coming forward.
The band responded with a statement, calling the allegations “shocking”.
However, in an interview with Jezebel, one survivor, in detailing her experience, claims Ben’s bandmate Liv Bruce was aware of their behaviour, after contacting her following “stories” circulating. “Their response to me was, I don’t think Ben knows what they did, maybe you should reach out to them,” she said. “Then they never spoke out about it again and continued being in the band.”
Others, including Sad13 / Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis and Adult Mom’s Stephanie Knipe, also allege that Liv had previously been made aware of similar accusations - while support band T-Rextasy, in pulling out of their booked July shows, explain they too had been warned about Ben.
In addition, other support acts Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, Tancred, iji and Ratboys have all made statements removing themselves from their booked spots.
The accusations also included a photo of Ben from 2011 in which they posed next to a swastika. “To anyone who was hurt by this image, know that it was me as a stupid kid and not who I am today, and I am so so sorry,” they wrote back in December.
Edit: US label Polyvinyl have posted a statement announcing they are “ceasing to sell and distribute PWR BTTM’s music”, offering affected fans the option to refund their purchases.
Edit: UK label Big Scary Monsters have also parted ways with the band, posting a statement on Sunday morning (14th May).
(Ed’s note: We opted on Thursday not to run our review of ‘Pageant’ online following these allegations, though we are aware there’s an interview in the current (May) issue of the magazine.)