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PWR BTTM Loses Tour Openers, Mag Cover & Album Party in Wake of Abuse Allegations

PWR BTTM Loses Tour Openers, Mag Cover & Album Party in Wake of Abuse Allegations


The dam broke just days before the release of the band’s debut album. 

Following allegations of sexual abuse by band member Ben Hopkins, queer band PWR BTTM has seen tour openers pull out, a magazine cover featuring them pulled, their album release party cancelled, and record stores making attempts to return their album stock.

Related | PWR BTTM Responds to Sexual Assault Accusations

After a message was posted to the private Facebook group DIY Chicago calling Hopkins a "known sexual predator" and "perpetrator of multiple assaults," the claims quickly spread across the Internet, with the band responding by providing a contact email that would be handled by a mediator for people wishing to come forward.

The fallout spread overnight, with Nnamdi Ogbonnaya and T-Rextasty, openers for the ban's upcoming tour, dropping out amidst the controversy. "I'll no longer be opening for PWR BTTM on this upcoming tour," said Ogbonnaya in a Facebook post. "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."

In a series of tweets T-Rextasty admitted fault of their own, saying they were warned about Hopkins around the time they agreed to the summer tour. During that time they felt they should continue with the tour, not wanting to out the person who came to them in confidence and not wanting to harm their professional reputation by pulling out of a tour for no apparent reason.

PWR BTTM's new album, Pageant, which released today, was supposed to be accompanied by a show and party at Rough Trade in Brooklyn has been seemingly cancelled. The event is no longer posted on Rough Trade's website, and musician Cameron West, who toured with the band as an arranger, quit via a Facebook post.

Those in direct association with the band aren't the only ones taking action to distance themselves from PWR BTTM and the controversy. LP Records in Glasgow tweeted that they're pulling the upcoming album as an offering and attempting to return the stock and donate wholesale cost to an appropriate survivor's charity.

Music magazine Upset, which features PWR BTTM on their latest cover (out today), issued a statement on their website saying they were "uncomfortable running coverage of the band at this point." Though the print edition of the magazine was sent to the printers weeks ago, Upset said it would not be sharing the cover feature on PWR BTTM on their website, and will still offer direct orders of the issue as to give the other talent within its pages a chance to shine. Part of the original sale plan had included PWR BTTM tote bags whose proceeds were to be donated to The Albert Kenney Trust, which aids LGBTQ youth in crisis. Now, Upset will instead donate PS1 from each digital purchase of the magazine for the next month to the trust, so the charity doesn't suffer a loss of donations.

In the wake of these allegations, while many fans are disappointed, the reactions illustrate how the queer community is steadfast in their principles.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Dennis Hinzmann