If you keep up with music news at all, like seriously at all, you’ve probably heard about the PWR BTTM allegations. The band’s lead singer, Ben Hopkins, has been accused of sexual abuse and anti-semitism. The latter had been partially dealt with a couple years back when an old picture of the singer resurfaced from somewhere in the depths of the internet with him posing on a beach next to a swastika drawn in the sand. The band dealt with this with a public apology and explained that, while this does not excuse their behavior, they were young and uneducated and rude at the time of the picture. As for the news regarding possible sexual abuse…no one really knows. The two set up an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, which is being run by a professional mediator for which anyone may contact with information on personal experience or other details regarding acts of sexual violence by Hopkins.
The band has been dropped by their label, Polyvinyl, has dropped PWR BTTM and will no longer be distributing their music. Father/ Daughter records has also separated from the band and has decided to stop selling the new album. Refunds are being offered to those who bought or pre-ordered the album and donations are being accepted that will go towards RAINN, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the US.
Along with being dropped by recording companies and their label, PWR BTTM has now also been left by touring band members and most show openers. Planned appearances at festivals have been scrapped and many dates from their album release tour have been cut. A final report on the full tour being cancelled is not out as of right now, and news regarding the reality of the allegations has also not been released.
Amidst this Earth shattering news, the DIY/ queer community stands proud in the way the allegations are being handled. Instead of any victim blaming or gaslighting, the band has stepped down from their social media platforms and everyone is putting forth a survivor first mentality by standing with assault survivors. The most important takeaway with this news is how allegations such as this are to be handled: survivor first, always.
Stay tuned with Stereogum, Noisey, Pitchfork, or my twitter (@v3ggi3babe) for important updates.