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COLUMN: Survivors need your support more than bands do



This past Friday, the former guitar tech of the band Brand New posted on Facebook asking why people haven’t outed frontman Jesse Lacey yet. He received reports of the singer's misconduct and multiple responses from people who felt uncomfortable being around him. 

One in particular stood out from the rest and stirred the pot Friday evening. 

One victim responded, saying Lacey solicited nudes from her while she was 15 and he was 24. She also says that he made her watch him masturbate on Skype, similar to the allegations made against Louis C.K. 

As a self-proclaimed die-hard fan of Brand New, this was absolutely heart-wrenching and infuriating to watch unfold. It's not because I was mad this was happening to my favorite band, but because someone I idolized so much throughout my teen years was capable of perpetuating the cycle of sexual violence.

My feelings about this event lead me to a conclusion I think is very important for any media consumer to consider: survivors will always value my support a thousand times more than a band, artist or celebrity ever will. 

There will always be fans who support a band no matter what happens, and this was proven Friday when people brushed off the accusations on Twitter and other social media outlets. 

Users said the victim was lying or they demanded proof. Others brought up other situations where musicians were falsely accused.

On Saturday, Lacey addressed the situation in a statement on Facebook. While mentioning the accusations, he failed to mention the part about the victim being underage and focused the statement on his suffering and what he has been through.

While it's good that he made an apology and confirmed that the allegations are true, this is insufficient. 

Often, we receive apologies about sexual assault after the perpetrators have been outed. These apologies do not feel genuine. They feel as if they exist solely to make the abusers feel better about themselves.

In the heat of all of this, I was faced with something I can’t necessarily call a problem or a dilemma. It was more a check of my own morals. 

Whenever a rapper, actor or director is outed as an abuser, we shout that our lives will be better off without their work in it. 

As a longtime fan of Brand New, I want to repeat that survivors will always need more support more than a band will. 

Our “faves” aren’t exempt from justice and they aren’t exempt from the same treatment we give people like Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein and Johnny Depp.

They should be held just as accountable.

mmgarbac@indiana.edu

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