The internet and fans everywhere were freaking out over the news that the Canadian pop band Hedley was being accused of sexual misconduct with young and even underage fans. The entire band, including frontman Jacob Hoggard have been outed by those who had alleged encounters with them, using the hashtag #outHedley2k18. The stories surround instances of sexual assault and harassment towards fans as young as 14.
All last night the band stayed away from the spotlight as the alligations and stories made their way to the forefront. However they've now choen to respond to the claims via social media. They've released a statement on their Facebook page that reads:
All of us in Hedley respect and applaud the #MeToo movement and the open and honest discussion it has inspired. We believe these conversations are particularly important within the music industry, which does not exactly have an enviable history of treating women with the respect they deserve. We appreciate the bravery of those who have come forward with their own stories, and we realize that all of us, as individuals and as a society, can and must do better when it comes to this issue.
But the statement doesn't end there. They continue on saying that in order to have a meaningful discussion that we need to accept and respect both sides of the story. Going on to say that the many allegations are unsubstantiated.
The recent allegations against us posted on social media are simply unsubstantiated and have not been validated. We would hope that people will bear-in-mind the context in which these unsupported accusations have been made before passing judgment on us as individuals or as a band.
They admitted that in the past they prescribed to the rock and roll lifestyle that many other bands have adopted while on tour, but claimed that they never crossed any lines.
We realize this conversation is as important to our fans as it is to us, and we never want to distract from these important discussions. To that end, as we move forward, we will be evaluating some of our next steps. Hedley’s music should only ever be a positive force, and our performances and personal appearances should continue to be inclusive and safe experiences that bring nothing but joy and happiness to our fans.
The statement has been up for an hour on their page and already received 920 facebook reactions - most of them being likes or love emojis. However the comment section has had a mixed reaction.
Since the initial alligation broke, the Juno Award twitter account announced that they would no longer have Hedley performing at the show.
After careful consideration of the situation and in discussions with the band, CARAS and Hedley have decided that the band will not be performing at the 2018 JUNO Awards.