After allegations of sexual assault were leveled at lead singer Ben Hopkins on Wednesday, two touring members of New York punk band PWR BTTM have quit, and the band’s album release show, scheduled to take place in Brooklyn tonight, has been cancelled.
Bassist Nicholas Cummins announced his decision to leave on Twitter last night. “I’ll say what i told Ben, he wrote. While i will never dispose of them as a human, I fully believe all accusations that came up today. Regardless of their intent it’s clear that multiple people had their boundaries crossed. that’s incredibly unacceptable and needs to be acknowledged.”
Multi-instrumentalist Cameron West announced his decision on Facebook soon after. “I was shocked to discover that sexual assault allegations were levied against Ben Hopkins,” he wrote. From my understanding, these accusations were in fact levied via e-mail months ago, but were left unshared with other members of the band, including myself. In order to provide the highest possible respect to everyone who has come forward, I am hereby ending my tenure with the band as an arranger and touring musician.
The cancellation of the band’s album release show at Rough Trade’s Brooklyn location was first reported by Brooklyn Vegan. The blog is also reporting that the band’s sets at Bled Fest and Hopscotch Fest have been cancelled.
Scheduled openers T-Rextasy have also pulled out of PWR BTTM’s forthcoming US tour. The band published a statement on Twitter explaining their decision. “We wish we could say these allegations come as a complete surprise, but that is not the truth,” the statement read. “We made a mistake supporting this band. We put our career above the safety of fans who have trusted us and supported us and there’s no way for us to remedy that.”
The allegations against Hopkins were made in a private Facebook group on Wednesday by a person who claimed to have “personally seen” Hopkins “initiate inappropriate sexual contact with people despite several ‘nos’ and without warning or consent.” The post spread across Reddit and Twitter soon after. PWR BTTM responded in a statement on Thursday “The allegations come as a surprise, but we are trying to address them with openness and accountability,” the band wrote. “The alleged behavior is not representative of who Ben is and the manner in which they try to conduct themselves.”
Noisey recently profiled PWR BTTM ahead of the release of the band’s sophomore album, Pageant, out today.
Lead photo: Burak Cingi / Getty Images.
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