T-Rextasy Back Out of Tour with PWR BTTM in Wake of Sexual Assault Allegations
After a series of social media posts describing PWR BTTM's Ben Hopkins as "a known sexual predator" and a "perpetrator of multiple assaults" started to circulate, Hopkins and bandmate Liv Bruce responded to the claims, saying, "These allegations are shocking to us and we take them very seriously" and pledging to handle the situation with "openness and accountability."
Announcing their decision to pull out of the upcoming tour dates, T-Rextasy claimed that they'd been warned privately about Hopkins alleged behaviour months ago, but did not share the news publicly out of respect for a person who came to them in confidence. The band went on to acknowledge their complicity and selfishness by agreeing to remain on the tour bill with PWR BTTM until now, and admitted they feared backing out "would damage our professional relationships."
T-Rextasy apologized for putting "our career above the safety of fans," and firmly stated: "We made a mistake supporting this band." They also invited fans to open dialogue by reaching out via Twitter or email.
Read their full Twitter address below.
1)Hi folks. We will speak more later about our next steps, but want to address the accusations against PWR BTTM as soon as possible— T-Rextasy (@trextasynyc) May 11, 2017
2)We wish we could say these allegations come as a complete surprise, but that is not the truth. Around the time we agreed to a July tour w— T-Rextasy (@trextasynyc) May 11, 2017
3)PWR BTTM, someone came to us privately + warned us that they had these experiences w Ben. They asked us not to share them publicly.— T-Rextasy (@trextasynyc) May 11, 2017
4)At the time we felt we should continue w the tour. We did not want to out the person who had come to us in confidence. We feared that— T-Rextasy (@trextasynyc) May 11, 2017
5) ducking out of a tour offer with no excuse would damage our professional relationships, many connected very personally to PWR BTTM.— T-Rextasy (@trextasynyc) May 11, 2017
6)This in no way excuses us from culpability. We were scared and confused but we were also selfish. We made a mistake supporting this band.— T-Rextasy (@trextasynyc) May 11, 2017
7)We put our career above the safety of fans who have trusted us and supported us and there's no way for us to remedy that.— T-Rextasy (@trextasynyc) May 11, 2017
8)We feel that we may not be the only ppl in this community to have heard these allegations before today.— T-Rextasy (@trextasynyc) May 11, 2017
9)We ask our peers to be honest in regards to their complicity in this situation.— T-Rextasy (@trextasynyc) May 11, 2017
10) If anyone would like to talk to us, our inbox here is open or you can email us at [email protected] We are here to listen.— T-Rextasy (@trextasynyc) May 11, 2017
To clarify: The tour referred to in this thread has not happened yet. It was supposed to be in the upcoming July— T-Rextasy (@trextasynyc) May 11, 2017
UPDATE (5/12, 11:30 a.m. EDT): Another opening act on the upcoming tour has also backed out of shows. Nnamdi Ogbonnaya announced that he will no longer be playing with the band, saying he "can't comfortably continue" following the allegations against PWR BTTM.
Many others from queer and DIY communities have since voiced their support for Hopkins's accusers on social media.
Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz and Sad13 detailed her own experience of sexual assault on Twitter, and also called bullshit on PWR BTTM's surprised reaction, saying she is "100% proof positive that everyone involved has known about these allegations for at least 3 months."
i am also 100% proof positive that everyone involved has known about these allegations for at least 3 months. that's when i found out— sadie dupuis (@sad13) May 11, 2017
Friends and former PWR BTTM tourmates Diet Cig also weighed in on the controversy, citing their own shock and confusion, but affirming that they "stand with survivors, always."
confused + shocked abt everything today + don't really know what to say yet, but i do know we stand with survivors, always— ✨diet cig ✨ (@dietcig) May 11, 2017
PWR BTTM's sophomore LP Pageant is set for release today (May 12) through Polyvinyl — though the label is reportedly offering refunds to those wishing to withdraw their support from the band. Their upcoming tour dates (now without T-Rextasy) can be found here.
UPDATE (5/12, 12:30 p.m. EDT): Now a touring member of PWR BTTM has quit the band. You can learn more about that development over here.