Mumford & Sons’ guitarist and banjo player Winston Marshall has announced that he will take a break from the band, following backlash to his praise for Unmasked, a book by controversial right-wing media figure Andy Ngo.
Writing in a statement on Twitter, Marshall apologised for the offence caused and also noted that his endorsement had affected his bandmates. He said: “Over the past few days I have come to better understand the pain caused by the book I endorsed. I have offended not only a lot of people I don’t know, but also those closest to me, including my bandmates and for that I am truly sorry. As a result of my actions I am taking time away from the band to examine my blindspots.”
Marshall concluded: “For now, please know that I realise how my endorsements have the potential to be viewed as approvals of hateful, divisive behaviour. I apologise, as this was not at all my intention.”
— Winston Marshall (@MrWinMarshall) March 10, 2021
Response to Marshall’s apology on Twitter has largely come from an opposite political direction to the initial controversy. Users have accused Marshall of bowing to a perceived cancel culture for apologising for his endorsement. Conservative author and commentator Mark Dice said: “You’re pathetic. Now I hope you do get cancelled.”
You’re pathetic. You’re apologizing to terrorists. Now I hope you do get canceled.
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) March 10, 2021
Lead singer of metalcore band All That Remains, Philip Labonte, replied simply: “Coward.”
— Article V Convention of States please (@philthatremains) March 10, 2021
Fans and non-fans alike had spoken out against Marshall’s now-deleted tweet, which praised Ngo and Unmasked, saying: “Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man.”
Unmasked claims that the decentralised left-wing movement Antifa has a “radical plan to destroy democracy,” and calls left-wing activists a “marauding gang” intent on destroying “nation-state, America in particular”. It also calls the far-right white nationalist group the Proud Boys a “pro-Trump fraternity.”
Fans of Mumford & Sons expressed disappointment at his support for Ngo, whose journalistic tactics and ethics have faced widespread criticism from fact-checking agencies and other media outlets.
For more music news, click here.