The Orwells deny sexual misconduct allegations, cancel Chicago show
UPDATE: The Orwells have broken up.
The Orwells responded to allegations of sexual misconduct recently made against members of the band, and though they deny the allegations, they also cancelled their single upcoming show, scheduled for November 23 at Chicago's Metro. "Out of respect to our friends at the Metro we will be cancelling our November show," they wrote. "All ticket buyers will be refunded immediately."
They gave a statement to Paste on the allegations, saying, "We emphatically deny these baseless allegations brought as a personal attack against us." Here's the full statement:
It’s come to our attention that certain allegations of abuse have been made against one or more of us on social media and in social circles of Chicago. We’d like to first state that sexual abuse in any form is abhorrent. We do not take these accusations lightly and consider this matter incredibly serious. We emphatically deny these baseless allegations brought as a personal attack against us.
While callow altercations and vulgar language we’ve used in the past must be recognized and owned up to, the accusations of sexual assault are completely unfounded. No member of this band has ever acted without consent or maliciously taken advantage of anyone. We encourage anyone who’s been affected by sexual abuse to speak up and make their abusers known; however we also encourage everyone to be cautious of the things they read and say on the Internet.
No victim of abuse should be hesitant to make their voice heard and if someone does feel that we’ve hurt them, we encourage them to contact us properly and privately (not via social media or anonymously), as to respect their identity.
The allegations started to become more public this past Saturday (8/25), when twitter user @rileyemmy posted, "The Orwells is a band full of homophobic, transphobic, racist sexual abusers. If you still fuck with them, feel free to message me and I will give you (in as many details as I've been permitted give) some accounts." @rileyemmy continued, "I want y'all to know that I was a FAN. Like the BIGGEST FAN. They knew me and my TEENAGE FRIENDS because we always went to shows and they called us "the whorewells". I Saw their UGLY PINK DICK on my PHONE SCREEN when I was SEVENTEEN."
***Disclaimer: This is NOT a legal account. We have no lawyers to prove any of this happened.
All of the experiences below are alleged due to the fact that they were told to us and because we were not there physically when these events occurred.
But this is my experience and many other girls’ experiences with the band the Orwells and this is us telling that story.
***Additional trigger/content warning for violent misogyny, homophobic language, mentions and recollections of sexual assault ,etc.
MARIO CUOMO, HENRY BRINNER, AND GRANT BRINNER OF THE ORWELLS HAVE BEEN ACCUSED MULTIPLE TIMES OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT. MARIO CUOMO HAS ALSO USED HOMOPHOBIC AND APPROPRIATIVE LANGUAGE ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS. I MYSELF RECEIVED UNSOLICITED NUDE PHOTOS FROM MARIO CUOMO WHEN I WAS 17 OR YOUNGER.
In the screencaps and images in the document, members of the band are (often anonymously) accused of having sex with 15, 16 and 17 year old girls, sending unsolicited nude photos to minors, and rape.
Several Twitter users urged Metro to cancel the show in wake of the allegations, and Jack Dolan of fellow Chicago band Twin Peaks replied to one of those tweets, saying: "i’ll go ahead and speak for the rest of @TwinPeaksDudes because i know we all feel the same. we don’t affiliate, condone or support anything about these dudes. they have a lot to answer for."
Other Chicago bands (including the Twin Peaks-related Grapetooth, Modern Vices, Girl K, Rookie, and The Symposium who Orwells drummer Henry Brinner filled in with a previous US tour) have also publicly denounced The Orwells.