Juno Awards backlash: Arcade Fire nominated amid sexual misconduct allegations against Win Butler

The frontman of the Quebec-based band faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct in 2022

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - NOVEMBER 25: Win Butler of Arcade Fire performs on stage during The
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - NOVEMBER 25: Win Butler of Arcade Fire performs on stage during The "WE" Tour at Rogers Arena on November 25, 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Andrew Chin/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Canada's Juno Awards nominations were announced, with famed musicians like The Weeknd and Avril Lavigne leading the pack, but Arcade Fire's inclusion as nominees has become a contentious issue.

Last year Win Butler, frontman of the Quebec-based band Arcade Fire, faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

In August 2022, reports published by Pitchfork detail allegations by four individuals of misconduct that they claimed occurred between 2016 and 2020. One person claimed multiple instances of alleged sexual assault, and three others alleged inappropriate sexual interactions with Butler.

Later that year, a fifth individual came forward to Pitchfork, alleging sexual misconduct from 2017.

Following the allegations, Feist dropped out of opening for the band's tour in 2022.

"I have never touched a woman against her will, and any implication that I have is simply false," Butler said in a statement last year. "I vehemently deny any suggestion that I forced myself on a woman or demanded sexual favours. That simply, and unequivocally, never happened."

"While these relationships were all consensual, I am very sorry to anyone who I have hurt with my behaviour. Life is filled with tremendous pain and error, and I never want to be part of causing someone else's pain."

Following the announcement of the 2023 Juno nominees, which include Arcade Fire in contention for Group of the Year, several people took to social media to express their displeasure in the band's inclusion.

"We look at Arcade Fire's nomination for group of the year as one for the entire band," the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences said in a statement to CBC Music. "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."