Winston Marshall of Mumford & Sons has received criticism after praising notorious right-wing agitator Andy Ngo.
Ngo, an American journalist and social media personality, has gained notoriety in right-wing circles for his reporting on left-wing groups, though has been criticised for painting left-wing activists as violent while not saying the same of right-wing protestors.
The journalist, who has associated himself with the far-right group the Proud Boys in the past, has released a new book called Unmasked, which promises to take the reader “inside ANTIFA’s radical plan to destroy democracy”.
In the book, Ngo calls the Proud Boys a “pro-Trump fraternity” while referring to left-wing activists as a “marauding gang” whose mission is to “destroy the nation-state, America in particular”.
In a new tweet, Marshall congratulated Ngo on the publication of the book, writing: “Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man.”
Finally had the time to read your important book
You’re a brave man pic.twitter.com/2CwX5KINOw
— Winston Marshall (@MrWinMarshall) March 6, 2021
In response to the endorsement, Marshall has received criticism on social media. One fan wrote: “I may be naive, but “Banjo player from Mumford & Sons Comes Out As Nazi” was not a headline I foresaw…”
Another wrote: “This is so damn disappointing and really reinforces all the bad stereotypes about what it means when you hear “the sound of banjos.” Supporting fascism ain’t a good look,” while some fans used Mumford & Sons lyrics to share their dislike of Marshall’s views.
See a host of responses to Marshall praising Ngo below.
I may be naive, but "Banjo player from Mumford & Sons Comes Out As Nazi" was not a headline I foresaw…
— Henning Strack (@Nabend1401) March 6, 2021
You really fucked it up this time, didn't you, my dear?
— Sam Whyte (@SamWhyte) March 6, 2021
This is so damn disappointing and really reinforces all the bad stereotypes about what it means when you hear "the sound of banjos." Supporting fascism ain't a good look.
— Ashton Pittman (@ashtonpittman) March 6, 2021
So I am guessing this means you're Fa or Pro-Fa?
— Juggalo Descolorido (@ess_j_ess) March 6, 2021
Back in 2018, Mumford & Sons responded after they faced criticism over a photo that saw them posing with controversial right-wing academic Jordan Peterson.
The photo caused a stir online, in the wake of Peterson’s often-criticised views on the subjects of feminism and gender identity. He has previously claimed that Islamophobia is “a word created by fascists and used by cowards to manipulate morons,” that white privilege is a “Marxist lie,” and that “the idea that women were oppressed throughout history is an appalling theory.”
“I primarily was very interested in Dr. Peterson’s work on psychology, read both his books and found it very, very interesting, and met him [through] a mutual acquaintance and invited him down to the studio whilst he was in London on tour, which was very interesting and one of many interesting visits [from various figures] we had in the studio”, Marshall explained afterwards of the band’s decision to meet with Peterson.
Marshall also responded to Power’s question of whether the band risked alienating fans who identified as feminists or LGBTQ+.
“I don’t think that having a photograph with someone means you agree with everything they say,” he said.