New York queer indie/punk band PWR BTTM has cancelled their record release show for their new album Pageant, which was released today, because of the growing controversy around sexual abuse allegations made against them. The band was supposed to play a free show tonight at Rough Trade in Williamsburg to celebrate the record, but Brooklyn Vegan reports it has been cancelled. Neither the band nor the venue has released any statement about the gig.

The controversy began on Wednesday when a member of a closed Facebook group alleged that lead singer Ben Hopkins is a "known sexual predator, perpetrator of multiple assaults." Along with the accusations, the user also posted an image of Hopkins posing next to a Swastika drawn in sand on a beach; Hopkins had addressed the image and apologized for it last winter, saying, "know that it was me as a stupid kid and not who I am today, and I am so so sorry."

The person who posted the abuse accusations then wrote more about it on Twitter:

The band released their own statement on Facebook, in which they said they had set up an email account where survivors could reach out to discuss allegations: "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."

Musician Cameron West, a multi-instrumentalist who worked on the album with the group and tours with them, said in a statement today that he was leaving the band. He also contradicted their statement that the band hadn't been contacted by survivors previously.

Two opening acts, Nnamdi Ogbonnaya and T-Rextasy, have both cancelled their dates with the band as well. Ogbonnaya wrote on Facebook: "Hey y'all. I'll no longer be opening up for PWR BTTM on this upcoming tour. It Fucking sucks for everyone involved and in light of the allegations I can't comfortably continue. I hope that truth is found/admitted and I'm incredibly disappointed at this type of shit continuously happening. I love all of you."

And T-Rextasy wrote in a series of tweets:

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 PWR BTTM, someone came to us privately + warned us that they had these experiences w Ben. They asked us not to share them publicly. At the time we felt we should continue w the tour. We did not want to out the person who had had come to us in confidence. We feared that ducking out of a tour offer with no excuse would damage our professional relationships, many connected very personally to PWR BTTM. 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. 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.

Bandcamp managing editor Jes Skolnik also wrote a Medium post about the problems with the band's initial statement and the need for them to be held accountable:

There is an outright lie in the statement, which they’re going to have to address; as multiple sources have confirmed now, people knew about this beforehand, including at least one member of the band. There should have been a commitment to change and accountability made at that time, even if it wasn’t public, and while the past can’t be changed, the band needs to address this in the present.

Update: Jezebel spoke with a woman who described being assaulted while intoxicated by Hopkins after a PWR BTTM show last year.

Jen said she initially thought they seemed “like an okay person... because of what they preach,” referring to the band’s vocal interest in social justice. After Hopkins took Jen home they allegedly made sexually aggressive advances and started having sex with her without permission while also refusing to wear protection. Later, while she was asleep, Jen said she woke up to Hopkins trying to have sex with her again.

“I just felt totally powerless in the situation, first due to physicality because they are so much bigger than me in size and also social status,” she told Jezebel. “I was trying to be okay with whatever was going on.”