Queer Punk Duo PWR BTTM Faces Canceled Shows After Accusations of Anti-Semitism and Sexual Abuse

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By Joe Simonson | 6:24 pm, May 12, 2017
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The queer punk rock duo PWR BTTM has a rabid online audience and a band title that references a homosexual who produces the force during sexual intercourse despite being on the “receiving” end.

Now, however, the group is in hot water after musicians in PWR BTTM’s tour band quit because of a number sexual assault and anti-Semitism allegations about band’s co-founder Ben Hopkins circulated on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit.

In a Facebook post, Hopkins and the other co-founder, Liv Bruce, responded to the accusations.

PWR BTTM at the 2017 SXSW in Austin. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for SXSW)

“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,” part of the statement reads.

The band, which performs in drag, also set up an e-mail address so the alleged victims can “discuss the allegations being expressed on social media.”

Touring member Cameron West quit the band over the claims, writing on Facebook that “these accusations were in fact levied via e-mail months ago, but were left unshared with other members of the band, including myself.”

Ben Hopkins (L) and Liv Bruce (drums) of PWR BTTM. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for SXSW)

Multiple bands slated to open for PWR BTTM on their upcoming tour have announced that they will no longer be performing.  T-Rextasy wrote on Twitter that they had “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” for not canceling sooner.

In December of last year, Hopkins apologized after a photograph surfaced of him posing in front of a Swastika on a beach.  Hopkins claims that the stunt was “from a time in my life where I thought being ‘politically incorrect’ was really funny and had literally no concept of my actions.”

PWR BTTM’s record release show Friday night in Brooklyn was also canceled after the news broke. The Hopscotch Festival removed the band from its lineup as well.

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