Update (11.27, 2:30 p.m.): PWR BTTM has since deleted the old motorcycle photo.
Original Story (11.27, 1:02 p.m.): When any public figure is accused of sexual abuse, it’s typical for them to lay low for a while, reflect, and minimize further blowback from the press. PWR BTTM’s Ben Hopkins has adhered to this generally unspoken rule since they were accused of sexual assault days before the band’s highly anticipated sophomore album, Pageant, was set to release in May. Both the official PWR BTTM account, run by Hopkins, and that of their bandmate, Liv Bruce, have gone quiet on social media since the allegations surfaced. Neither account has tweeted or even liked a tweet since May 18.
Last night, the official PWR BTTM account tweeted out this presumably old photograph with no caption:
This was, by all accounts, a terrible time for PWR BTTM to remind us of their existence. After the dam’s burst, with routine reports of sexual misconduct spilling out of the entertainment industry, most alleged abusers are scurrying out of the spotlight. It’s unclear what exactly this vintage motorcycle shot means, or who it captured—a Google image search came up empty.
Regardless of Hopkins’ intentions, it is a remarkably tone-deaf gesture for an alleged abuser to reemerge during a time when we’re collectively sorting out the proper means of justice as a music community. Fans didn’t let Hopkins off the hook so easily, either, with many replies indicating that this was a great reminder to unfollow.
It’s unclear if this is the first step toward PWR BTTM resuming their career. The last time we heard from a representative for the band was a statement from their new management in June, which vowed to reacquire distribution rights for their music and get PWR BTTM’s career back on track. Hopkins and Bruce have every right to return to the industry and continue to make music. And we have every right to ignore them.