Reversals of fortune in entertainment can be incredibly swift: queer pop-punk duo PWR BTTM have now been dropped by their label just two days after allegations of sexual assault levied against lead singer Ben Hopkins surfaced online.
Since a warning to DIY venues not to support the band because of Hopkins' alleged actions was posted in a private Facebook group on Thursday, PWR BTTM's fall from grace has been dramatic. Opening bands dropped out of their tour, festivals dropped them from lineups, stockists began attempting to return their sophomore album Pageant, which was released yesterday. Now their label, Polyvinyl Record Company, has released a statement making it clear that they have cut ties with the band.
Since the news broke on Thursday, PWR BTTM's once fervently loyal fan base has become just as fervent about the band facing consequences for Hopkins' alleged actions. Many have pointed out that while plenty of straight musicians engage in similar behavior that goes unchecked, because PWR BTTM were such a vocally queer, socially conscious band, they're now being held to their own standards.
Yesterday, Jezebel's Hazel Cill's published an interview with a source they referred to as Jen who details an assault by Hopkins:
"I just felt totally powerless in the situation, first due to physicality because they are so much bigger than me in size and also social status. I was trying to be okay with whatever was going on."
PWR BTTM released a statement on their Facebook page Thursday night but have yet to speak about the ensuing fallout.