Feist Quits Arcade Fire Tour After Sexual Misconduct Allegations Surface Against Win Butler

WARNING: This article contains content about sexual assault and may affect those who have experienced sexual violence or know someone who has.

Polaris-winning musician Leslie Feist, who opened for Arcade Fire in Dublin, has quit the tour.

The musician made the announcement in an Instagram post on Wednesday, citing sexual misconduct allegations against Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler as the reason for her departure.

The allegations first came to public attention through news publication Pitchfork, which said four people had made allegations against Butler. CBC News has not been able to independently verify these claims. They have not been proven in court.

In two statements to Pitchfork, Butler denied all allegations, saying the sexual interactions he had with the four were consensual, but apologized “to anyone I’ve hurt by my behavior.”

In her post, Feist says she and her band were taken aback by the Pitchfork story, but didn’t have time to decide whether or not to cancel their upcoming tour, a few days later. late.

The decision to leave now came from a desire to “outrun [herself] of this tour, not of this conversation”, while she always opposed “public humiliation”.

“To stay on tour would symbolize that I was defending or ignoring the harm caused by Win Butler and leaving would imply that I was judge and jury,” Feist wrote in his post.

“It can be a lonely road to make sense of the abuse. I can’t solve this by quitting, and I can’t solve it by staying. But I can’t go on.”

Arcade Fire later released a statement on Feist’s departure, saying they “are truly sorry to see Leslie return home, but fully understand and respect his decision.”

Radio stations play music from Arcade Fire

A number of radio stations have removed the band’s discography from their lineup, including CBC Music and Toronto’s Indie88.

Elsewhere, some fans have called on Arcade Fire to cancel their ongoing UK and Ireland tour following the allegations, although it has so far gone ahead as planned.

Their first gig in Dublin on August 30 saw the band debut to “enthusiastic applause” according to the Los Angeles Times. The Guardian reported that Feist did not comment on the allegations at the time, but displayed a poster stating that proceeds from his merchandise would go to Irish charity Women’s Aid, which helps victims of domestic abuse.

American musician Beck, who is to lead the band on their North American tour from September, is still scheduled to perform.

Meanwhile, Butler’s wife and fellow Arcade Fire member Régine Chassagne also released a statement in defense of Butler.

“I know what’s in his heart, and I know he has never and never would touch a woman without her consent and I’m sure he never has,” Chassagne said. in the press release. “He lost his way and he found his way back. I love him and I love the life we’ve created together.”

Support is available for anyone who has been sexually assaulted. You can access crisis lines and local support services through this Government of Canada website or the Canadian Association for the Elimination of Violence Database. If you are in immediate danger or fear for your safety or the safety of those around you, please call 911.

An earlier version of this story contained a photo of a woman misidentified as Leslie Feist. It was actually musician Ariel Engle.

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