PWR BTTM dropped by record label after sexual assault allegations against band member Ben Hopkins

Anonymous interview was published in Jezebel where a woman detailed alleged assault that took place on two separate occasions

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The Independent Culture

PWR BTTM have been dropped by their label Polyvinyl Records following allegations of sexual assault against lead singer Ben Hopkins. 

The move came shortly after an anonymous woman gave an interview to Jezebel describing an alleged sexual assault by Hopkins - who uses they/them pronouns - where she claimed that Hopkins made "sexually aggressive advances and started having sex with her without permission while also refusing to wear protection".

"Later, while she was asleep, 'Jen' [not her real name] said she woke up to Hopkins trying to have sex with her again."

'Jen' also claimed that Hopkins assaulted her a second time, one month after the first incident. She added that the band's statement where they said the claims were "shocking" to them were "100 per cent false", because fellow PWR BTTM member Liv Bruce reportedly contacted her earlier in the year and was aware of her story. 

"The statement that they made, I know for a fact, is an actual lie because I know they did know," she said. "The statement they made is 100 per cent false."

In a statement, Polyvinyl said: "Throughout our 20 years, Polyvinyl has purposefully operated on the core principle that everyone deserves to be treated with fairness and respect.

"There is absolutely no place in the world for hate, violence, abuse, discriminatory or predatory behaviour of any kind. In keeping with this philosophy, we want to let everyone know that we are ceasing to sell and distribute PWR BTTM's music."

Full refunds are being offered to fans, and the label will be making donations to anti-sexual violence charity RAINN, and AVP, which aids victims of LGBTQ violence. 

The band's new album Pageant is still available on iTunes and Amazon but not via Polyvinyl's website.

A previous statement by the band said that they are “trying to address them [the allegations] with openness and accountability”.

"Unfortunately we live in a culture which trivialises and normalises violations of consent," the band wrote on Facebook. "There are people who have violated others' consent and do not know. Ben has not been contacted by any survivor(s) of abuse.

"These allegations are shocking to us and we take them very seriously. Further, the alleged behaviour is not representative of who Ben is and the manner in which they try to conduct themselves."

You can read their full statement here.

In the days since the allegations emerged, two of PWR BTTM's touring members have quit the band, two support acts have dropped out of their forthcoming tour, their management has dropped them from its roster, and several festivals have removed them from lineups.

Pitchfork is now reporting that the band are now set to cancel their album tour, with two venues telling the publication that they have received word that a new statement from the band will be made shortly.