Sex Abuse Claim Undoes Band

Emergent queer-punk PWR BTTM was abandoned by tourmates, dropped by its record label and canceled by venues just as it was to drop its anticipated second album and embark on a spring tour.


The band’s apparent downfall was more or less complete within days of a Facebook post alleging inappropriate behavior and consent issues against member Ben Hopkins.

An acquaintance accused Hopkins of “inappropriate sexual contact with people despite several ‘nos’ and without warning or consent,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

The group issued a statement addressing the controversy May 11.

“The allegations come as a surprise, but we are trying to address them with openness and accountability,” the statement reads, also referring to a 2011 photo of Hopkins posing in front of a swastika “as a joke” that was addressed in December.

“Unfortunately we live in a culture which trivializes and normalizes violations of consent,” the statement continues. “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 behavior is not representative of who Ben is and the manner in which they try to conduct themselves.”

The statement includes an email address at which abuse survivors can address the allegations.

But the statement came too late to stave off the damage.

The day after it was issued, bands slated to perform with PWR BTTM were canceling, and on May 13, Polyvinyl Records dropped the band from its roster and issued a statement of its own.

“There is absolutely no place in the world for hate, violence, abuse, discrimination or predatory behavior of any kind,” the Times quoted in part. “In keeping with this philosophy, we want to let everyone know that we are ceasing to sell and distribute PWR BTTM’s music.”