Published Jul 22, 2020This week, Burger Records has been at the centre of controversy, as various artists and label reps have been accused of misogyny and sexual misconduct. This includes Orange County, CA's the Growlers, who have since denied the accusations against them. Now, their keyboardist Adam Wolcott Smith has issued a statement saying that he is leaving the Growlers due to the accusations against his bandmates, and he has also spoken out about an incident in which he sexually assaulted someone.
In his initial Instagram post, Smith said that he joined the band as a touring keyboardist in 2016 and "had no knowledge of the past accused behaviors." While Smith didn't explicitly say that he believes the accusations against his ex-bandmates, the musician wrote that he says he "lacked awareness" for what was going on and has "unending support for the survivors."
In the comment section of that post, someone wrote, "Hey Wolcott, would you like to expand more on your support for survivors by being transparent about how you have directly contributed to the problem? Specifically, about how you assaulted me on tour in 2017? If you do not plan on holding your bandmates accountable, you could at least be honest about your own past actions, and how you too have caused harm to others."
A few hours later, Smith made another post acknowledging, "I'm not innocent in abuse." The Growlers member then detailed a 2017 encounter in which he shared a bed with his girlfriend and another person, and he sexually assaulted the other person while himself asleep. He wrote, "I recognize that blackout sexual assault and sleep assault is still assault."
See both statements below.
Misconduct accusations have been made against Growlers singer Brooks Nielsen and guitarist Matt Taylor. Nielsen subsequently issued a statement on behalf of the band, saying, "We take [the accusations] seriously and want to get to the bottom of them."
Following the allegations against Burger Records, the label initially announced plans to restructure its leadership and rebrand as BRGR RECS. The label has since announced plans to shut completely.