Mumford & Sons Banjo Player Taking Leave Of Absence After Controversial Andy Ngo Tweet
You really fucked it up this time, didn’t you, my dear?
Three days ago, Winston Marshall, lead guitarist and banjo player for stadium-folk act Mumford & Sons, tweeted in support of writer and right-wing disinformation spreader Andy Ngo: “Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man.” (Ngo’s book is called Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan To Destroy Democracy.) The tweet, quickly deleted, caused an instant backlash. Last night, in a statement posted on Twitter, Marshall apologized for endorsing Ngo’s book and wrote that he is “taking time away from the band to examine my blindspots.”
Here’s the full text of Marshall’s apology:
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.
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.
Marshall’s endorsement of Ngo was not exactly an isolated incident. In 2018, Jordan Peterson, a psychologist and YouTuber popular among the men’s-rights brigade, posted a photo of himself in the studio with Mumford & Sons. In an interview shortly afterward, Marshall said that he “was very interested in Dr. Peterson’s work on psychology — read both his books and found it very, very interesting… I think I don’t see the harm in engaging in conversation.” Shortly afterward, Mumford & Sons leader Marcus Mumford said that he would “fiercely defend my bandmates’ rights to listen to the guy.”
Mumford and his other bandmates have not made any public comment on Marshall’s endorsement of the Andy Ngo book.