The Ghost Inside have dismissed bassist Jim Riley after he was previously accused of making racial slurs.
Riley has since apologised for the comments, which he was accused of making five years ago, but he has now left the metalcore group.
“The Ghost Inside was born from a scene of forward thinking, understanding and progressiveness,” the band said in a statement on social media.
“Our music and message has always been one of hope and finding that light at the end of the tunnel. Racism and bigotry of any kind stifle that journey the light. It closes and locks doors that need to be broken open.
“We have decided to part ways with bassist Jim Riley. While we didn’t hear these words spoken directly from his mouth, we did hear mutterings of the incident. At the time we thought this to be just a rumour, but it offended and hurt a community. A community we are meant to bring together.
— The Ghost Inside (@theghostinside) June 6, 2020
“We should’ve spoken up back then and we didn’t, we should’ve dug deeper. We acknowledge that we were silent. We are self educating and growing and learning as individuals. We are here to say that we as a band fully condemn racism and support the black community in the fight against systemic racism.”
In his own statement, Riley apologised to Bracewar’s Rashod Jackson, who originally made the claims.
Riley wrote: “Rashod called me out in 2015. I called him, he put the screws to me. I deserved it, and I apologised to him. He told me that wasn’t good enough and he was right.
Rashod called me out in 2015. I called him, he put the screws to me. I deserved it, and I apologized to him. He told me that wasn't good enough and he was right.
— The Jim Riley (@SpartaDTD) June 5, 2020
“Its shameful and fucking embarrassing. I present myself as someone who gives a shit about progressive movements and ideas, and I was not living up to that.
“Because of that conversation I had to take a big fucking look in the mirror and recognise a lot of bullshit that I was selling myself.
“I made too many excuses for being brought up without exposure to the black experience, and I should have been better.
“I make a conscious effort to purge stuff about myself that still sucks when I find it, and to be mindful that I’m just a passenger on someone else’s ship in any movement related to black lives.”
He concluded: “I’m sorry. I know that’s not enough. I’m going to keep doing the work. That might still not be enough. I’m going to do it anyway.”
Riley’s departure comes days after the release of The Ghost Inside’s self-titled fifth album.
In a four-star review, NME wrote: “Having survived the kind of ordeal no one should ever have to face, it would have been understandable – hell, perfectly justified – if the metalcore band had turned in a dark, bitter record that reflected their most traumatic period. Instead, after four years of intense rehabilitation, The Ghost Inside’s self-titled, fifth album is a towering statement of positivity, transforming pain into catharsis, determination and hope.”