Juno Awards Stand by Decision to Nominate Arcade Fire Despite Sexual Assault Allegations
Instagram/Maria Jose Govea

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences defend decision to give the Win Butler-fronted group the most coveted nomination despite damning accusations against the frontman.

AceShowbiz - The Juno Awards stand by their decision to give Arcade Fire a Group of the Year nomination despite the sexual assault allegations made against frontman Win Butler. Butler was accused of sexual misconduct by five people last year, and the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has maintained that, while it takes the allegations "very seriously," they still wanted to honour Win's bandmates.

"We look at Arcade Fire's nomination for group of the year as one for the entire band. While we take the allegations very seriously, in this situation, we are also honouring the rest of the band for their success. We hope the allegations against Butler will not detract from the achievements of the other group members," the Academy said in a statement shared with CBC.

The 42-year-old singer was said to have behaved inappropriately between 2015 to 2020 when he was aged 34 to 39 and his alleged victims were between the ages of 18 and 23, but he insisted the encounters between them were consensual.

A gender-fluid individual who uses they/them pronouns told Pitchfork Butler had sexually assaulted them twice in 2015 when they were 21 years old, while three women told the outlet their encounters with the "Rebellion (Lies)" hitmaker involved unwanted touching, kissing, and photos of genitalia, and were "inappropriate given the gaps in age, power dynamics, and context in which they occurred."

Butler issued a lengthy statement in which he told how he was going through a period of depression and drinking heavily at the time, but maintained the "relationships" were consensual and his wife, bandmate Regine Chassagne, was aware of what happened.

He said in a statement, "I love Regine with all of my heart. We have been together for twenty years, she is my partner in music and in life, my soulmate and I am lucky and grateful to have her by my side. But at times, it has been difficult to balance being the father, husband, and bandmate that I want to be."

"Today I want to clear the air about my life, poor judgment, and mistakes I have made. I have had consensual relationships outside of my marriage. There is no easy way to say this, and the hardest thing I have ever done is having to share this with my son."

"The majority of these relationships were short lived, and my wife is aware - our marriage has, in the past, been more unconventional than some. I have connected with people in person, at shows, and through social media, and I have shared messages of which I am not proud."

"Most importantly, every single one of these interactions has been mutual and always between consenting adults. It is deeply revisionist, and frankly just wrong, for anyone to suggest otherwise."

In November, a fifth person accused the singer of "emotionally abusive, manipulative, toxic" behaviour.

He has profusely denied the misconduct allegations made against him and apologised to "anyone" he has "hurt" with his behaviour.

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