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Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Nardine Saad

Radio stations pull Arcade Fire’s music amid sexual misconduct allegations

Some North American radio stations have stopped playing the music of Arcade Fire after the rock band’s frontman, Win Butler, was accused of sexual misconduct.

A representative for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. told Ottawa City News and CBC News that the broadcaster will “pause” playing the Grammy-winning act’s work on its CBC Music FM radio station and the SiriusXM CBC Radio 3 station “until we learn more about the situation.”

Additionally, the program director of Indie88 in Toronto also said that his station made “a quick decision over the weekend to pull the band’s music” but has “not yet had a fulsome internal conversation about the permanence of this decision.”

The Montreal indie band, which won the 2011 Grammy Award for album of the year with its third studio album, “The Suburbs,” has made the U.S. and Canadian music charts with the singles “Reflektor,” “Keep the Car Running” and “Ready to Start.”

St. Paul, Minnesota, radio host Bill Childs told CBC that he’s been tracking the U.S. radio stations that have also pulled the band’s music and reported that at least six stations that routinely play Arcade Fire had dropped the songs by sometime Tuesday.

“I’m always curious about how radio stations respond when core artists of theirs get caught up in allegations of whatever sort,” Childs told CBC News.

According to a report Saturday in Pitchfork, four individuals made the allegations against Butler. Three women, who said they were “devoted” fans of the band, claimed the misconduct occurred between 2016 and 2020 when they were between the ages of 18 and 23 and Butler was between 36 and 39. A fourth accuser, who identified as “gender-fluid,” alleged that Butler sexually assaulted them twice in 2015, when they were 21 and he was 34.

Butler, 42, who has been married to bandmate Regine Chassagne since 2003, denied the allegations and said he had “consensual relationships outside of my marriage,” according to a statement he provided to Pitchfork. The singer-songwriter also described the marriage as “unconventional” and Chassagne said he “would never touch a woman without her consent.”

In a separate statement, he also acknowledged a history of depression and drinking.

“I have long struggled with mental health issues and the ghosts of childhood abuse. In my 30s, I started drinking as I dealt with the heaviest depression of my life after our family experienced a miscarriage. None of this is intended to excuse my behavior, but I do want to give some context and share what was happening in my life around this time,” the statement said.

Butler and the band on Tuesday launched their European tour in Dublin’s 3Arena apparently without a hitch since the accusers came forward over the weekend.

While many fans showed their support for the act, which was reportedly well-received when they opened the set, others noticed that Butler did not directly make a statement about the allegations against him.

A Reddit user said Butler “opened by thanking ‘everyone from the bottom of his heart’ for coming out.”

Meanwhile, observers on social media have urged fans to boycott the band’s upcoming concerts in Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and others, according to the Guardian, while some fans in Dublin said on Twitter they decided not to attend Tuesday’s show because of the allegations or asked for refunds.

Despite the Pitchfork report, a publicist for Arcade Fire told the Guardian only that the band would carry on with the tour, which promotes its new album, “We.”


(L.A. Times staff writers Stacy Perman and Alexandra Del Rosario contributed to this report.)


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