TORONTO — One of the opening bands on Hedley’s cross-Canada tour has dropped off the bill saying they “can no longer in good conscience” stick with the rockers.
The members of Neon Dreams issued a statement saying they understood their decision could impact their careers but they had to “do what we feel is morally right.”
The other tour opener, Shawn Hook, said in a statement late Thursday that he was “obviously disheartened” by sexual misconduct allegations levelled against Hedley but would continue “to fulfil my contractual obligations.”
Earlier Friday, Hedley’s management team said it had terminated all “business relationships with the band” and the CBC said it was dropping the group’s music from its radio and streaming platforms.
The rockers — fronted by Jacob Hoggard and including Dave Rosin, Tommy Mac and Jay Benison — are under fire in the wake of a flurry of claims from anonymous Twitter users who alleged inappropriate encounters with the band.
A statement issued by the group calls the allegations “unsubstantiated.”
On Thursday, Corus Radio announced it had suspended all airplay of Hedley songs across its 30 music stations, as did other stations in Edmonton and Vancouver.
The Junos also dropped the Vancouver group from the upcoming televised awards bash in what was called a joint decision with the band “after careful consideration of the situation.”
Wednesday’s move by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences came after the release of the band’s statement addressing claims of impropriety involving young fans.
“We realize the life of a touring band is an unconventional one,” reads the statement.
“While we are all now either married or have entered into committed, long-term relationships, there was a time, in the past, when we engaged in a lifestyle that incorporated certain rock ‘n’ roll cliches. However, there was always a line that we would never cross.”
The band said they “respect and applaud the #MeToo movement” and say it is especially 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,” says the statement.
“However, if we are to have a meaningful, open and honest discussion, we all have to accept and respect that there are at least two sides to every story. 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.”
Michael Oliveira, The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version misstated the number of music radio stations Corus owns.