Hed­ley ac­cused of sex­ual mis­con­duct

Ottawa Sun - - SHOWBIZ -

The Junos have dropped Hed­ley from the tele­vised awards bash as the rock­ers face al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct that they call “un­sub­stan­ti­ated.”

Or­ga­niz­ers of the an­nual mu­sic show say it was a joint de­ci­sion with Hed­ley “af­ter care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion of the sit­u­a­tion.”

The move by the Cana­dian Academy of Record­ing Arts and Sciences came as band mem­bers is­sued a state­ment ad­dress­ing claims of im­pro­pri­ety in­volv­ing young fans. “We re­al­ize the life of a tour­ing band is an un­con­ven­tional one,” reads the state­ment, which was is­sued mid-af­ter­noon Wed­nes­day, min­utes be­fore the Junos an­nounce­ment.

“While we are all now ei­ther mar­ried or have en­tered into com­mit­ted, long-term re­la­tion­ships, there was a time, in the past, when we en­gaged in a life­style that in­cor­po­rated cer­tain rock ’n’ roll cliches. How­ever, there was al­ways a line that we would never cross.”

The state­ment fol­lowed a flurry of claims on Twit­ter from anony­mous users who al­leged in­ap­pro­pri­ate en­coun­ters with the band. Some so­cial me­dia users called on the Juno Awards to drop Hed­ley as a per­former at the up­com­ing show.

The pop-rock­ers — fronted by Ja­cob Hog­gard and in­clud­ing Dave Rosin, Tommy Mac and Jay Beni­son — are up for three Junos this year in­clud­ing fan choice, group of the year and pop al­bum of the year. The band said they “re­spect and ap­plaud the #MeToo move­ment” and say it is es­pe­cially im­por­tant within the mu­sic in­dus­try, “which does not ex­actly have an en­vi­able his­tory of treat­ing women with the re­spect they de­serve.”

“We ap­pre­ci­ate the brav­ery of those who have come for­ward with their own sto­ries, and we re­al­ize that all of us, as in­di­vid­u­als and as a so­ci­ety, can and must do bet­ter when it comes to this is­sue,” says the state­ment.

“How­ever, if we are to have a mean­ing­ful, open and hon­est dis­cus­sion, we all have to ac­cept and re­spect that there are at least two sides to every story. The re­cent al­le­ga­tions against us posted on so­cial me­dia are sim­ply un­sub­stan­ti­ated and have not been val­i­dated. We would hope that peo­ple will bear-in­mind the con­text in which these un­sup­ported ac­cu­sa­tions have been made be­fore pass­ing judg­ment on us as in­di­vid­u­als or as a band.”

The group is cur­rently on tour and was set to per­form in Medicine Hat, Alta., on Wed­nes­day evening. They were sched­uled to per­form in Moose Jaw, Sask., and Bran­don, Man., later in the week.

Cana­dian rock­ers Hed­ley speak up on claims of sex­ual be­hav­iour in­volv­ing young fans that emerged on so­cial me­dia in re­cent days. The band says the al­le­ga­tions are “un­sub­stan­ti­ated.”

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