Op Ed

The Right Way to React When Your Former Bandmate is Accused of Sexual Assault

Good, so now my childhood is only 25% destroyed.

Somehow I managed not to make the connection between accused rapist and all-around needledick Jian Ghomeshi and his former band, Moxy Fruvous. Then a friend said something about it on Facebook and I felt my childhood begin to crumble.

For the uninitiated, Moxy Fruvous was a truly awesome and politically-satirical pop group from Toronto. They parted ways in 2000, having reached moderate success across Canada and in parts of the U.S. (I grew up near the border, in Buffalo, where they were well-known, but I don’t know how much farther their popularity spread) in the 1990s.

Here are a few of their songs:

Quality stuff, and they tackle racism, pollution, and war in those songs, and in others, they address (and skewer) many different subjects. There’s even a track called “The Greatest Man in America,” which makes fun of Rush Limbaugh by calling him “a dose of P.T. Barnum with a Mussolini twist.” The point is, combining their proclivities for progressivism and my childhood memories, I’d have been VERY disappointed if the rest of the band had come out in support of Jian.

But they didn’t.

The other three members of the band, Mike Ford, Murray Foster, David Matheson, released a statement last week condemning him:

“As former colleagues of Jian (our last show was in 2000), we are sickened and saddened by this week’s news. We had no inkling that Jian engaged in this type of behaviour. We abhor the idea of a sexual relationship of any sort being entered into without full consent from both parties and condemn violence against women in any form. We wish only health and healing to everyone involved.”

That’s the right way to respond. It’s OK to not have known someone you worked with and presumably cared about (allegedly) did something awful, because it’s the people who do awful things (allegedly) who are best at hiding them. There’s no disparaging of the victims, or saying anything about two sides to a story or “let’s hear all the facts.” The statement specifically mentions both consent and violence, and supports the (alleged) victims. It shouldn’t feel like such a relief to read that, but in a world where statements — both official ones and the unofficial ones that appear on celebrity Twitter feeds — are so often ignorant or downright offensive, it’s a sigh of relief.

My musical childhood is still mostly intact.

By [E] Liza

PhD student. Knitter. Brooklynite. Long-distance dog mom. Reluctant cat lady. Majestic unicorn whose hair changes color with the wind.

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