Members of the Chicago garage-rock outfit The Orwells have been accused of sexual misconduct. Vocalist Mario Cuomo, bassist Grant Brinner and drummer Henry Brinner are alleged to have engaged in predatory behavior. The allegations arose after Chicago music venue Metro announced it would be hosting a concert by The Orwells on Nov. 23.
Twitter users decried the decision, citing years of alleged abuse. Accusers started a Google document in which to compile stories from former fans who felt that they had been preyed upon by the band, and multiple Twitter users spoke out about their experiences.
Multiple Chicago bands have publicly denounced The Orwells on Twitter following the accusations.
Reached for comment by Paste, The Orwells shared the following 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.
Soon after, the band announced they had canceled their show at Metro.