Music duo PWR BTTM dropped from label after sexual abuse allegations

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Gay punk duo PWR BTTM has been dropped from their music label, and are on the verge of canceling their nationwide tour, amid sexual abuse and anti-Semitism allegations involving band member Ben Hopkins.

According to Jezebel, Kitty Cordero-Kolin wrote a Facebook post calling Hopkins a “known sexual predator” and alleged Hopkins had initiated “inappropriate sexual conduct” with multiple people. The post also included a photo of Hopkins posing and smiling with a swastika drawn in the sand.

An anonymous woman also spoke with Jezebel and alleged that Hopkins, “made sexually aggressive advances and started having sex with her without permission while also refusing to wear protection.”

Their management, Salty Artist Management, tweeted that it was cutting ties with the band.

The label Polyvinyl, which released PWR BTTM’s album “Pageant,” also announced it will no longer be selling and distributing the duo’s music.

Numerous opening acts for PWR BTTM’s tour have pulled out of planned shows including T-Rextasy, Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, Tancred and iji in response to the allegations.

The duo has begun canceling scheduled shows, including its D.C. date at the Black Cat on June 16, with rumors swirling the tour may get canceled altogether.

PWR BTTM released a statement addressing the situation on their Facebook page calling the allegations, “a surprise.”

“We want to respond to some very serious allegations that have been made against Ben. The allegations come as a surprise, but we are trying to address them with openness and accountability,” the statement begins.

“Unfortunately we live in a culture which trivializes and normalizes violations of consent. 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 continued.

PWR BTTM notes that they have set up an email address for survivors of the alleged abuse, or someone working with a survivor, to discuss the allegations.

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