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

Arcade Fire’s Win Butler performs at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio. (Amy Harris/Invision/Associated Press)

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

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

In addition, Indie88’s Toronto program director also said his station made “a quick decision over the weekend to pull the band’s music” but “has yet to have a full internal discussion about the permanence of that decision.”

The Montreal indie band, who won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 2011 for their third studio album, “The Suburbs,” have charted in the US and Canada with the singles “Reflektor,” “Keep the Car Running” and “Ready to Begin.”

The radio host of St. Paul, Minn., Bill Childs told the CBC that he is monitoring US radio stations that have also pulled the band’s music, and reported that at least six stations that regularly play Arcade Fire had dropped the songs sometime Tuesday.

“I’m always curious how radio stations react when their main artists get caught up in allegations of any kind,” Childs told CBC News.

According to a report Saturday in Pitchfork, four people made the allegations against Butler. Three women, who said they were “dedicated” fans of the band, alleged 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 himself as “gender – liquid,” she claimed Butler sexually assaulted them twice in 2015, when she was 21 and he was 34.

Butler, 42, who has been married to bandmate Régine Chassagne since 2003, denied the allegations and said he had “consensual affairs outside of my marriage,” according to a statement he gave 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 alcoholism.

“I have long struggled with mental health issues and the specters of childhood abuse. In my 30s, I started drinking as I was dealing with the worst depression of my life after our family’s miscarriage. None of this is meant to justify my behavior, but I want to give some context and share what was going on in my life during this time,” the statement read.

Butler and the band on Tuesday kicked off their European tour at Dublin’s 3Arena, apparently without a hitch, after the accusers emerged over the weekend.

While many fans showed their support for the act, which was reportedly accepted when they opened the set, others noted that Butler did not make a direct statement about the allegations against him.

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

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

Despite Pitchfork’s report, an Arcade Fire publicist told the Guardian only that the band would go ahead with the tour, which promotes their new album, “We.”

Times staff writers Stacy Perman and Alexandra Del Rosario contributed to this report.

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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