Mumford & Sons’ founding member Winston Marshall has left the Grammy Award-winning band after repeatedly courting controversy by supporting right-wing provocateur/antifa critic Andy Ngo and befriending Canadian academic Jordan Peterson (who has been accused of transphobia, misogyny, and Islamophobia).
In a post on Medium, Marshall outlined the reasons he is leaving the band he had been a part of since 2007.
“For me to speak about what I’ve learnt to be such a controversial issue will inevitably bring my bandmates more trouble. My love, loyalty and accountability to them cannot permit that,” he added. “I could remain and continue to self-censor but it will erode my sense of integrity.”
“The only way forward for me is to leave the band,” he continued. “I hope in distancing myself from [the band] I am able to speak my mind without them suffering the consequences.”
The Hollywood Reporter provides the context:
In March, in a now-deleted tweet, Marshall, who also goes by the music aliases Country Winston and WN5TN, congratulated Ngo on the publication of his book Unmasked, which promises to take the reader “inside ANTIFA’s radical plan to destroy democracy.”
“Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man,” Marshall tweeted, before deleting the message following a backlash and intense mockery of the band.
Then there was this:
While a member of Mumford & Sons, Marshall courted controversy for associating with notorious right-wing personalities. In 2018, Marshall invited Canadian academic Jordan Peterson, who has been accused of transphobia, misogyny and Islamophobia, to visit the band’s London studios.
After pictures of Peterson and members of the band appeared on social media, Marshall told a Canadian radio station, “I don’t think that having a photograph with someone means you agree with everything they say.” He added, “Primarily I’m interested in his psychological stuff, which I find very interesting.”
Ngo, a conservative journalist who rose to prominence filming left-wing protests in Portland, has become notorious for his associations with the neofascist white nationalist groups the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer.
Marshall ended his post by informing his fans that he was looking forward to”new creative projects as well as speaking and writing on a variety of issues, challenging as they may be.”
Eeeesh. Please don’t.