Last night, a post appeared in the closed Facebook group DIY Chicago (later re-posted publicly on Twitter) accusing PWR BTTM member Ben Hopkins of a number of things, from anti-Semitism to bullying to abuse and sexual assault. ”I have personally seen Ben initiate inappropriate sexual contact with people despite several ‘nos’ and without warning or consent,” the poster writes, adding that Hopkins made “unwanted advances on minors despite knowing their age” and perpetuated “emotional abuse in relationships.” The poster also noted, “almost every single one of Ben’s victims is queer.”
The post included a picture of Hopkins on the beach, posing next to a swastika drawn in the sand; as it turns out, that image had surfaced before, and they had previously apologized for it back in December. The allegations of sexual assault, however, are new—or at least, newly public, as several commenters claimed that this has been an open secret for some time—and earlier this afternoon, the band went onto its Facebook page to address them in a joint statement.
“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,” the statement reads, adding that they are looking for a mediator to work with survivors and have created an email account (to which Hopkins does not have access) where individuals can discuss allegations directly with the as-yet-unnamed mediator.
You can see the statement in its entirety below.