The Brooklyn queer punk duo PWR BTTM, which is made up of members Liv Bruce and Ben Hopkins, were set to release their album Pageant on Friday May 12th through Polyvinyl.
Things changed quickly when sexual assault and anti-Semitism allegations appeared online on May 11th. Photos of member Ben Hopkins posing beside Swastikas drawn in the sand started circling in a DIY Chicago Facebook group. Along with the photos, they were described as a “known sexual predator.” The poster, Kitty Cordero-Kolin, wrote “I have personally seen Ben initiate inappropriate sexual contact with people despite several ‘nos’ and without warning or consent.”
Things came crashing down quickly for the duo. Their album release party was immediately cancelled, opening acts for their tour dropped off, their management removed them as a client, their touring members quit, and Polyvinyl dropped them and offered fans full refunds.
The band posted a response on Twitter which received immediate backlash, as the group allegedly was informed of this months prior.
— PWR BTTM (@PWRBTTMBAND) May 11, 2017
Screenshot by Kitty Cordero-Kolin via Facebook.