Update – August 29th: The Orwells have announced their breakup.
Over the weekend, a host of sexual abuse allegations were levied against three members of The Orwells in an extensive Reddit post. In the collection of texts, photos, and first-hand accounts, Mario Cuomo, Henry Brinner, and Grant Brinner have been accused of a disturbing range of actions including rape, sexual abuse, sexual interactions with underaged girls, sending unsolicited nudes and videos, and sexual manipulation. On top of that, Cuomo in particular has been called out for homophobic and transphobic behavior, as well as aggressive altercations with fans and venue staff.
In response, The Orwells have canceled their November 23rd concert at the Metro in their Chicago hometown. They’ve also issued a statement denying what they call “these baseless allegations brought as a personal attack against us.” “While callow altercations and vulgar language we’ve used in the past must be recognized and owned up to, the accusations of sexual assault are completely unfounded,” they continue. “No member of this band has ever acted without consent or maliciously taken advantage of anyone.”
Read the full statement below, and find the full breadth of the allegations via Reddit.
“It’s come to our attention that certain allegations of abuse have been made against one or more of us on social media and in social circles of Chicago. We’d like to first state that sexual abuse in any form is abhorrent. We do not take these accusations lightly and consider this matter incredibly serious. We emphatically deny these baseless allegations brought as a personal attack against us.
While callow altercations and vulgar language we’ve used in the past must be recognized and owned up to, the accusations of sexual assault are completely unfounded. No member of this band has ever acted without consent or maliciously taken advantage of anyone. We encourage anyone who’s been affected by sexual abuse to speak up and make their abusers known; however we also encourage everyone to be cautious of the things they read and say on the Internet. No victim of abuse should be hesitant to make their voice heard and if someone does feel that we’ve hurt them, we encourage them to contact us properly and privately (not via social media or anonymously), as to respect their identity.
Sincerely, Matt, Mario, Dominic, Henry, and Grant
Editor’s Note: Consequence of Sound has begun its own independent investigation on the claims against The Orwells.