PWR BTTM took to social media on Thursday, May 11, to respond to allegations of sexual assault against Ben Hopkins of the band. The allegations were originally published on a private Facebook group before being circulated on Reddit and Twitter. The duo, whose new album Pageant is released this week, said in their statement that the allegations came as a "surprise." This claim was doubted by some, who said the band had been contacted about the allegations months ago.
Two artists have subsequently pulled out of support slots on PWR BTTM's upcoming live shows in north America. T-Rextasy were the first to share their decision, explaining that they too were aware of the allegations of abuse leveled at Hopkins when they decided to join the tour earlier this year. In a multi-tweet thread, the New York band apologized to fans for being "selfish" and confirmed that they will no longer be appearing at the dates in July.
Cameron West, who is featured on Pageant and is a touring member of PWR BTTM, has announced his departure from the group. "Today, like many PWR BTTM fans, I was shocked to discover that sexual assault allegations were levied against Ben Hopkins," West wrote on Twitter. "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."
Meanwhile, PWR BTTM's Father/ Daughter Records label mate Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, issued a statement on Facebook explaining his decision to back out of shows he was due to play with the band. "I'll no longer be opening up for PWR BTTM on this upcoming tour," he wrote. "It fucking sucks for everyone involved and in light of the allegations I can't comfortably continue. I hope that truth is found/admitted and I'm incredibly disappointed at this type of shit continuously happening. I love all of you."
PWR BTTM's tour is due to begin in Toronto on May 25 with dates plotted across the summer. The FADER has contacted representatives for PWR BTTM, Cameron West, T-Rextasy, and Nnamdi Ogbonnaya.
1)Hi folks. We will speak more later about our next steps, but want to address the accusations against PWR BTTM as soon as possible— T-Rextasy (@trextasynyc) May 11, 2017
2)We wish we could say these allegations come as a complete surprise, but that is not the truth. Around the time we agreed to a July tour w— T-Rextasy (@trextasynyc) May 11, 2017
3)PWR BTTM, someone came to us privately + warned us that they had these experiences w Ben. They asked us not to share them publicly.— T-Rextasy (@trextasynyc) May 11, 2017
4)At the time we felt we should continue w the tour. We did not want to out the person who had come to us in confidence. We feared that— T-Rextasy (@trextasynyc) May 11, 2017
5) ducking out of a tour offer with no excuse would damage our professional relationships, many connected very personally to PWR BTTM.— T-Rextasy (@trextasynyc) May 11, 2017
6)This in no way excuses us from culpability. We were scared and confused but we were also selfish. We made a mistake supporting this band.— T-Rextasy (@trextasynyc) May 11, 2017
7)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.— T-Rextasy (@trextasynyc) May 11, 2017
8)We feel that we may not be the only ppl in this community to have heard these allegations before today.— T-Rextasy (@trextasynyc) May 11, 2017