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
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.
Arcade Fire nominated for @TheJUNOAwards group of the year??! Do we think that the musical group OTY representing this country should be made up of a lead singer who uses their power to act with sexual violence towards underage women?
NO WE DO NOT!!!! ☄️☄️☄️☄️
— Jenn Grant (@jenngrantmusic) January 31, 2023
I’m not a famous Canadian musician but if I were, I’d start publicly boycotting @TheJUNOAwards now until that Arcade Fire abuser’s nomination is rescinded and an apology is issued.
— Erica Violet Lee (@ericavioletlee) January 31, 2023
shame on @TheJUNOAwards for honouring win butler. multiple sexual assault investigations have been published. multiple victims have come forward. this just how canada's music industry enables abusers over and over. https://t.co/MmkHiSbesN
— Jill_Krajewski on IG (@JillKrajewski) January 31, 2023
Arcade Fire had a disastrous 2022 as frontman Win Butler is hit with multiple sexual misconduct allegations and once again get nominated for group of the year @TheJUNOAwards
— Ryan (@LiveWithRyan) January 31, 2023
"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."