Yesterday, a tweet began circulating that contained screenshots of a Facebook post that leveled allegations of assault and abuse at the queer power-pop punk duo PWR BTTM, who are days away from the release of their new album Pageant.
The tweet is here:
The information in the Facebook post also points back to a picture of one of the members of the duo, Ben Hopkins, posing with a swatiska, an old image that he’s previously addressed on Twitter as part of a phase when he thought being “politically incorrect” was punk. He’s also apologize for the image vociferously and held an open line of communication for anyone who has hurt and offended by it.
As for the assault allegations, the band have addressed those in a statement on Facebook, noting that they were surprised by them, but setting up an email account in hopes that those impacted will reach out and speak with a moderator about the situation. Read that statement in full below:
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Ben and Liv here. We want to respond to some very serious allegations that have been made against Ben. The allegations come as a surprise, but we are trying to address them with openness and accountability. With respect to the image included with these allegations, Ben previously addressed this matter on their/the band’s Twitter in January.
Unfortunately we live in a culture which trivializes and normalizes violations of consent. There are people who have violated others’ consent and do not know. Ben has not been contacted by any survivor(s) of abuse. These allegations are shocking to us and we take them very seriously. Further, the alleged behavior is not representative of who Ben is and the manner in which they try to conduct themselves.
To address this matter head on, we have set up an email address through which a survivor or someone working directly with a survivor can discuss the allegations being expressed on social media: firstname.lastname@example.org We are currently looking for a mediator with the necessary qualifications. This will be the only person with access to the account. Ben does not have access to the account, for two reasons: 1) because we acknowledge that certain individuals will not feel comfortable establishing a direct communication link between themselves and Ben, and 2) to protect Ben in the event that a malicious party attempts to use the address for anything but its intended purpose.
Our primary goal here is to ensure that a survivor of abuse has a voice, that their story should be heard and that people who cross the line should be held accountable. What this means for the band, our album, our fans and our upcoming tours is, as of yet, unclear. Music is everything to us, but we feel strongly that this matter needs to be addressed first. Updates forthcoming.