Mumford & Sons’ banjo player, Winston Marshall, has announced time away from the band after a backlash.
The backlash started over a now-deleted tweet sent by Marshall last weekend. Marshall congratulated right-wing pundit Andy Ngo on publishing his most recent book. “Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man,” Marshall wrote in the tweet.
Fans immediately took to Twitter to denounce Mumford & Sons and any continued support of Marshall.
“A dumbfounding endorsement of fascism,” one person wrote on Twitter. “Unless you kick Winston Marshall out of the band, I’m done with y’all,” writes another fan. In response to the massive backlash, Marshall tweeted an apology.
Mumford & Sons even received some backlash from other industry professionals. English musicians, Sleaford Mods, tweeted about the controversy. “The fact this t** from Mumford is openly showing his support for continued oppression/fascism/the interests of greed, is almost normal now. He inhabits the same landscape most large bands do.”
“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,” wrote Marshall.
“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 behavior. I apologise, as this was not my intention,” the statement concludes.
Representatives for Mumford & Sons have not responded to comments since Marshall’s announcement. Who will replace Marshall as banjo player for Mumford & Sons, or will the band soldier on without him?
Winston Marshall is an original member of Mumford & Sons, which was formed in 2007. They most recently released a live EP titled Delta Tour in November 2020. This isn’t the first time Mumford & Sons have found themselves the subject of controversy. In 2018, Marshall and his fellow bandmates received criticism for posing for a photo with Jordan Peterson. Peterson is another controversial fringe-figure for the right-wing.
Andy Ngo is a controversial figure because of his association with the Proud Boys. Ngo attended a Proud Boys rally and claimed Antifa threw a concrete-filled milkshake at him. Those claims have never been verified, and Ngo claims that Antifa rather than Trump supporters led the Capitol riots.