Boy Band Why Don’t We Detail Abuse From Managers, Say They Were “Hostages”
Why Don’t We, the boy band best known around these parts for building songs around Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead” and Smashing Pumpkins’ “1979,” have issued a statement detailing alarming allegations against their management team. As Billboard reports, the group has also petitioned the California Labor Commission to get out of its contract with manager David Loeffler, who has been trading lawsuits with his former management partner Randy Phillips.
Why Don’t We’s statement alleges that the five members — all of whom were between 15 and 18 years old when the group was formed — have suffered “mental, emotional, and financial abuse” at the hands of their managers. As teens, they lived and recorded music together in a house known as the “Why Don’t We compound,” where they say an alarm would go off whenever they left. A manager from Signature Entertainment Partners lived with them by day but “controlled us 24/7.” The singers say the management set up an alarm that would go off any time a window or door was opened, “essentially making us hostages in our own home.” There is also talk of consistent verbal abuse and such limited food supply that some members developed eating disorders and/or hid food in their dressers. The members of Why Don’t We say they believed at the time that this was normal treatment within the music industry and that they were “paying their dues.”
Read the group’s full statement below.