Crystal Castles removed from feminism-centric SXSW showcase following controversy
This year at SXSW, Tumblr is throwing the 79 Cents party, an event named after the gender wage gap the US (as reported by Institute for Women’s Policy Research in 2014) with the goal of celebrating female artists and feminism. The initial lineup included Jhene Aiko, Empress Of, Little Simz, Tacocat, and Crystal Castles, the latter of which quickly caused some controversy. Alice Glass left Crystal Castles in 2014, and while her replacement, Edith Frances, is indeed female, Alice suggested that the band’s sole original member Ethan Kath was a questionable inclusion for a show like this. “As someone who knew Ethan Kath on a personal and professional level, it is my opinion that he is not an appropriate artist to be performing at a feminism-centric event,” she told The Verge.
Kath had also previously made public comments about Alice Glass, more or less suggesting that she was nothing but a vocal muse for a project that was mostly his:
i wish my former vocalist the best of luck in her future endeavors. i think it can be empowering for her to be in charge of her own project. it should be rewarding for her considering she didn’t appear on Crystal Castles’ best known songs. (she’s not on Untrust Us. Not In Love, Vanished, Crimewave, Vietnam, Magic Spells, Knights, Air War, Leni, Lovers Who Uncover, Violent Youth, Reckless, Year of Silence, Intimate, 1991, Good Time, Violent Dreams etc.). people often gave her credit for my lyrics and that was fine, i didn’t care.
After the controversy went down, Tumblr decided to remove Crystal Castles from the lineup. A representative said in a statement:
We’ve removed Crystal Castles from the lineup of the 79 Cents party. We don’t know the facts around comments made about a member of the band, and we’re not going to engage in an investigation around it. We’re hosting this event to highlight gender disparity issues, something that Tumblr and our community cares deeply about, and we don’t want the band’s presence to distract from this important mission.
Crystal Castles are releasing their first album with new singer Edith Frances in the spring. You can browse their upcoming tour dates (including other SXSW shows) here.
Here’s the updated flyer for the 79 Cents party: