Canadian radio stations pull Arcade Fire music amid Win Butler sexual misconduct allegations

·2-min read
Canadian radio stations pull Arcade Fire music amid Win Butler sexual misconduct allegations

Arcade Fire’s music will not play on some Canadian radio stations after frontman Win Butler was accused of sexual misconduct by four people.

On Tuesday (30 August), it was reported that at least three stations have decided not to play the indie rock band’s music amid allegations of “inappropriate” actions by Butler, 42, between 2015 and 2020.

A representative for CBC said the broadcaster will “pause” playing the Montreal-based Arcade Fire’s music on CBC Music FM radio station and the Sirius XM channel CBC Radio “until we learn more about the situation”, as per Ottawa City News.

Meanwhile, Toronto’s Indie88 made “a quick decision over the weekend to pull the band’s music”, program director Ian March told the publication.

He added that the station has “not yet had a fulsome internal conversation about the permanence of this decision”, in his statement to the outlet.

The decision to stop playing Arcade Fire’s music comes as the band kicked off their tour at Dublin’s 3Arena on Tuesday, with Feist and Beck opening the show.

Neither of them have publicly commented on the allegations against Butler, which were published by Pitchfork on 27 August.

The publication ran the accounts of four people – all fans of the band – who alleged they had inappropriate sexual interactions with Butler when they were aged between 18 and 23. Butler at the time was between 36 and 39.

One accuser, who spoke to Pitchfork under the pseudonym Lily and uses they/them pronouns, said they met the musician at a concert in 2015.

After the gig, Butler allegedly touched them non-consensually in a car and gave them a kiss that they “did not ask for”. They also claimed Butler “pinned me up against the wall and was aggressively grabbing my body and sticking his tongue down my throat”.

They referred to the incident as “manipulation”, adding that it was “not OK in the context”.

Butler was married to bandmate Régine Chassagne at the time, and the pair are still together.

In a statement to the publication, Butler said that while he was “very sorry to anyone who I have hurt with my behaviour... these relationships were all consensual”.

“I f***ed up, and while not an excuse, I will continue to look forward and heal what can be healed, and learn from past experiences,” he said.

Of Lily’s second allegation, Butler said that he didn’t “remember who initiated it” but added that it was “definitely mutual”.

Chassagne also shared her own statement, saying: “I know he has never, and would never, touch a woman without her consent and I am certain he never did.”

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here