PWR BTTM has been a rising star on the queer music scene since its debut in 2013. But the duo, comprised of Ben Hopkins and Liv Bruce, is facing serious allegations of sexual assault.
In a May 11 post to a closed Facebook group, Kitty Cordero-Kolin accused Hopkins of being a “known sexual predator” responsible for multiple assaults and unwanted advances on minors.
Cordero-Kolin, who uses they/them pronouns, also claimed Hopkins has bullied members of the queer community. “U should avoid going to their shows/boycott their music/not allow them in safe spaces,” they wrote. “I have personally seen Ben initiate inappropriate sexual contact with people despite several ‘nos’ and without warning or consent.”
Cordero-Kolin told Jezebel they had begun receiving accounts about Hopkins’s behavior from other people in the queer music scene, adding that he kissed their date without consent a 2016 show in Massachusetts.
A anonymous source told Jezebel she had been also assaulted by Hopkins after a PWR BTTM show last year. She initially believed he was “an okay person… because of what they preach,” but after he took her home, he allegedly “made sexually aggressive advances and started having sex with her without permission.”
He also reportedly refused to wear protection.
Later that same night, she claims, she woke to find Hopkins trying to have sex with her again. “I just felt totally powerless in the situation, first due to physicality because they are so much bigger than me in size and also social status,” she told Jezebel. “I was trying to be okay with whatever was going on.”
Hopkins reportedly continued to sext the woman after the incident and, a month later, assaulted her again.
On May 11, the band posted a statement on Facebook that the allegations “come as a surprise,” stating Hopkins had not been contacted by any “survivors of abuse.” The post invited victims to email an account which Hopkins doesn’t have access to, in order to discuss the situation. Hopkins and Bruce have declined to comment further publicly.
The fallout has been massive: Salty Artist Management, which oversees PWR BTTM, announced it would no longer be representing the band. On May 13, one day afterPWR BTTM’s sophomore album, Pageant, was released by Polyvinyl Records, the label announced it would no longer sell or distribute the group’s music. (On Sunday, UK label BSM Recordings also announced it was no longer be working with the band.)
A New York record-release party has been canceled—and several opening acts on PWR BTTM’s tour, including Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, T-Rextasy, Tancred and iji, have dropped out.
PWR BTTM has also been dropped from the upcoming Hopscotch Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Our statement regarding the removal of PWR BTTM from the Hopscotch 2017 lineup: pic.twitter.com/z6GjPzClNu
— Hopscotch Music Fest (@hopscotchfest) May 12, 2017