The Orwells, an indie rock band from suburban Chicago, announced Wednesday the group had broken up after denying allegations of sexual abuse.
The succinct message “The Orwells have disbanded” was posted on the bands Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. The breakup came three days after a post appeared on reddit linking to a Google doc containing screenshots of alleged conversations with and photos of band members. The post’s title said three members of the band "have received multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and homophobia."
“It’s come to our attention that certain allegations of abuse have been made against one or more of us on social media and in social circles of Chicago. We’d like to first state that sexual abuse in any form is abhorrent,” the band said in a statement issued to media outlets. “We do not take these accusations lightly and consider this matter incredibly serious. We emphatically deny these baseless allegations brought as a personal attack against us.”
The Orwells also said on Twitter the group was cancelling its show planned at the Metro in November “out of respect to our friends” at the venue. All tickets would be refunded, they said.
“While callow altercations and vulgar language we’ve used in the past must be recognized and owned up to, the accusations of sexual assault are completely unfounded,” the Orwells statement continued. “No member of this band has ever acted without consent or maliciously taken advantage of anyone. We encourage anyone who’s been affected by sexual abuse to speak up and make their abusers known; however we also encourage everyone to be cautious of the things they read and say on the Internet. No victim of abuse should be hesitant to make their voice heard and if someone does feel that we’ve hurt them, we encourage them to contact us properly and privately (not via social media or anonymously), as to respect their identity.”
It was unclear if any criminal investigation into the allegations was underway.
The Orwells got their start in Elmhurst in 2009.