Live musicians leave band following recent claims facing member Ben Hopkins
Two of PWR BTTM‘s touring members have quit the band following sexual assault allegations facing bandmate Ben Hopkins.
Yesterday, punk duo PWR BTTM were forced to speak out after member Hopkins was accused of alleged instances of historic sexual assault. Hopkins was described as a “known sexual predator” and alleged to have made “unwanted advances on minors” by one social media user. The band said in response: “The allegations come as a surprise, but we are trying to address them with openness and accountability.”
Stereogum now reports that Cameron West, a multi-instrumentalist who contributed to the band’s new album Pageant and has played live with the group, has parted ways with the band. West wrote on Twitter: “Like many PWR BTTM fans, I was shocked to discover that sexual assault allegations were levied against Ben Hopkins. 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.”
Another of PWR BTTM’s touring musicians, Nicholas Cummins, has also parted ways with PWR BTTM. Cummins wrote on Twitter: “I’ll say what I told Ben; 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… I am deeply horrified by the thought of any role I may have played in doing harm to those people when playing with that band. All I can do is hope that the band does the right thing and pursues accountability in an honest and transparent way.”
See West’s tweets in full below:
Earlier today it was reported that NYC band T-Rextasy have pulled out of supporting PWR BTTM on tour. The group wrote on Twitter: “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 with PWR BTTM, someone came to us privately and warned us that they had these experiences w Ben. They asked us not to share them publicly.”
Another support act, Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, has also pulled out of the tour. Nnamdi Ogbonnaya wrote on Facebook: “I’ll no longer be opening up for PWR BTTM on this upcoming tour. 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.”
PWR BTTM release their new album ‘Pageant’ today (May 12) but have cancelled their New York album launch gig.