Bloomington, Indiana dream pop band Hoops have broken up in response to sexual abuse allegations against former member James Harris.
Harris is accused of sexually assaulting a girl, identified as Megan, when she was 17 years old and he was 21. According to the accuser, Harris was also sleeping with a 15-year-old girl around the same time.
The victim shared a Twitter direct message from the band’s Kevin Krauter to a friend in which he said “James himself says he doesn’t remember having sex with her on the night of the incident in question, but like understands that some action of his could have been seen as non consensual.” He also stated that “there was nothing in our awareness that we ever tried to intentionally hide or cover up.” In regards to “the second rumor,” he said the band members don’t “have any kind of memory of that happening whatsoever.”
In a statement posted on Hoops’ Instagram page, frontman Drew Auscherman noted that Harris left the band in 2017 for, as the other members understood it, “reasons unrelated to this situation.” However, Auscherman admitted he’d heard about the allegations not long after the band went on hiatus in 2018. “I made the mistake of not pursuing the matters further with the band and the former member,” wrote Auscherman, “which I now realize only extended and amplified the victim’s suffering.”
He went on to clarify that Hoops’ initial hiatus was spurred on by “my own personal issues of emotional abuse towards partners and friends.” Auscherman said the band “came back too soon” and that he’s still working through his issues, which “at the moment takes precedence over all things music related. That being said, we have come to the conclusion that it is no longer acceptable for us to continue as a band with this sort of platform.”
Krauter also issued his own statement in response to the revealed DM. “I want to extend a personal apology to Megan and anyone else hurt by my words…,” he wrote. “In a panic I tried to advocate my perspective on the context of this situation, but in doing so conveyed a point of view that was hurtful and wrong. I don’t blame Megan for anything that she has gone through and I recognize that my memory of the situation was from a version of myself that was immature and ignorant to the frustration and pain that she’s felt for all of these years.”
Hoops ended their hiatus last year, announcing a new album, Halo, back in June. The record was set for an October 2nd release, but label Fat Possum has decided to pull it from release. The label promised refunds for pre-orders “will be issued as quickly as possible,” concluding, “The label does not tolerate sexual abuse of any kind and stands with all victims.”
Find all the statements below.
This is but the latest in a recent string of indie bands who have come under fire for sexual misconduct, assault, abuse, and rape. Label Burger Records closed down entirely following rampant misconduct claims against staff and associated bands such as SWMRS, The Growlers, The Buttertones, and more. Nobunny and Culture Abuse both announced they’d be retiring from music after similar accusations. Avi Buffalo, aka Avi Zahner-Isenberg, was accused of rape and emotional abuse by former bandmate and current Pageants member Rebecca Coleman. Merge Records dropped The Make-Up and Chain and the Gang frontman Ian Svenonius after he admitted to predatory behavior. Even The Killers are currently investigating allegations of abusive and misogynistic behavior, including potential rape, amongst members of their touring crew.
Just found out that the member of hoops, James Harris, who assaulted me when I was 17 when he was 21, also was having sex with a 15 year old girl around the same time frame. This man is a fucking pedophile. Be safe ladies
— megan thee mythic bitch (@bagel_witch) July 28, 2020
ya boys now denying it to everyone BUT me in the dms, never showing a word of remorse, victim blaming and saying he doesnt “remember having sex w me”. there are receipts of them reaching out to people trying to deny claims of assault 2 years ago, so “just hearing abt it” my ass pic.twitter.com/ZfJ51gOKZE
— megan thee mythic bitch (@bagel_witch) July 29, 2020
— kevin (@krauter_) July 30, 2020
— Fat Possum Records (@FatPossum) July 31, 2020