Queer punk duo PWR BTTM dropped amid sexual assault allegations
Queer punk band PWR BTTM have been dropped by their management amid allegations of sexual assault against singer Ben Hopkins.
Salty Artist Management announced in a statement on Facebook that they would “no longer be working with the band” after numerous allegations were made against Hopkins online.
One anonymous person described the singer as a “sexual predator”.
Another survivor told Jezebel that Hopkins “made sexually aggressive advances and started having sex with her without permission while also refusing to wear protection”.
Salty Artist Management said that they “do not take these kind of allegations lightly”, adding that their “thoughts are with victims and survivors of abuse who have been affected by this”.
The band, who have learnt a reputation for being staunch LGBT activists, released their new album, Pageant, on Friday but cancelled the launch show that was due to take place in New York.
Fans who have purchased the new record or tickets to upcoming concerts are being offered refunds.
T-Rextasy, who were due to be the support act for the band on the upcoming tour, have severed ties with the band because of the fallout.
The band, who said they has been “warned” of Hopkin’s behaviour, took to Twitter to express remorse over not addressing the allegations, which did not “come as a complete surprise, earlier.
PWR BTTM took to Facebook to make a statement about the allegations, which they have deemed a “surprise”.
“We are trying to address them [the allegations] with openness and accountability,” the statement began.
“Unfortunately we live in a culture which trivialises and normalises violations of consent. There are people who have violated others’ consent and do not know.
“These allegations are shocking to us and we take them very seriously. The alleged behaviour is not representative of who Ben is and the manner in which they try to conduct themselves.”
The band have set up an email account which will be handled by a mediator so that survivors “can discuss the allegations”.
The band explained that the “primary goal” of this account was 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.”
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The statement was met with criticism online.
“‘The alleged behaviour is not representative of who ben is’ yes it is, how is it not. You choose to connect yourself as an abuser chances are you are an abuser,” wrote one person.
Someone else wrote: “If you are a victim, DO NOT contact this email address if you ever plan on pressing charges. This seems a lot like a legal team trying to get out in front of all of the allegations”.
Another person added: “As a victim of sexual assault I would never want to have any further contact with my abuser/rapist. Do not pressure victims to partake in this. It perpetuates victim-blaming culture, which if you aren’t aware, is total f*cking b*llshit.”
Rape Crisis England and Wales works towards the elimination of sexual violence. If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.
Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.