Arcade Fire kicked off their world tour in Dublin on Tuesday, just days after sexual misconduct allegations against the band’s frontman Win Butler were leveled.
According to Pitchfork, over the weekend they discovered four people, aged 18 to 23, who claimed the musician was misbehaving. The allegations ranged from sexual assaults to embarrassing sexual text messages and forced touching.
Butler denied such allegations and said all contacts were consensual.
“I have never touched a woman against her will,” he told Pitchfork. “It is deeply revisionist, and frankly just wrong, for anyone to suggest otherwise.”
The award-winning artist, who is married to bandmate Régine Chassagne, cited previous battles with alcohol and depression, saying he was “very sorry to anyone who I have hurt with my behavior.”
Pitchfork’s survey ran from 2015 to 2020, when Butler was 34 to 39 years old. Anyone who claimed that the wrongdoing had been committed was about ten years younger.
A person interviewed by the outlet by the name Lily, who uses they/them pronouns, said they met the artist at a concert in 2015.
After the performance, Butler allegedly touched and kissed them in the car without their consent. At another time, Lily said, right after opening her front door to Butler, “he pinned me up against the wall and was aggressively grabbing my body and sticking his tongue down my throat.”
According to Butler, he touched Lily’s thigh in the vehicle and the second date was “definitely mutual.”
A woman who identified herself as Stella stated that she began conversing with Butler in 2016 when she was 18 and he was 36 and that she met up with him for a drink.
She claimed that the Grammy winner then started “repeatedly sending her explicit texts without her consent or reciprocation,” although she expressed her rejection.
The singer admitted to the sexting but stated that he did not know the messages were not welcome. He claimed to have not recognized the significance of the age gap at the time but could currently see “how it could be overwhelming.”
In an interview with Pitchfork, Butler’s wife said her husband “has never, and would never, touch a woman without her consent, and I am certain he never did.”
These allegations have made numerous radio stations in Canada, the band’s native land, halt playing their music.