New York queer punk duo PWR BTTM have found themselves embroiled in controversy stemming from allegations levied against the band’s Ben Hopkins. In a post on a DIY Chicago Facebook group, a person named Kitty Cordero-Kolin accused Hopkins of being “a known sexual predator, perpetrator of multiple assaults, etc.” Cordero-Kolin further claimed to have “personally seen Ben [Hopkins] initiate inappropriate sexual contact with people despite several ‘nos’ and without warning or consent.”
After the posts spread via Reddit and Twitter, Cordero-Kolin provided further evidence in multiple tweets with screenshots of corroborating stories about Hopkins and his father. Hopkins’ bandmate, Liv Bruce, was not exempt from the accusations either, as it was also stated Bruce “has been outed as a predator.”
Earlier this afternoon, PWR BTTM posted a statement on Facebook in response to the allegations. In part, the statement read, “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.”
In an attempt “to address this matter head on,” PWR BTTM has set up an email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. Hopkins will not have access to the account, as it will be solely helmed by a mediator. The email is there to provide an outlet for “a survivor or someone working directly with a survivor can discuss the allegations being expressed on social media.”
“Our primary goal here is to ensure that a survivor of abuse has a voice, that their story should be heard and that people who cross the line should be held accountable,” the band explained. “What this means for the band, our album, our fans and our upcoming tours is, as of yet, unclear. Music is everything to us, but we feel strongly that this matter needs to be addressed first.”
The initial accusation also included a photo of Hopkins posing next to a swastika symbol, which led to allegations of anti-Semitism. Hopkins previously addressed that particular controversy late last year, stating it was “a joke” and came from “a time in my life where I thought being ‘politically incorrect’ was really funny.”
Read the band’s most recent statement in full below.