- Publish Date
- Thursday, 24 June 2021, 2:00PM
Back in March, Winston Marshall temporarily stepped away from Mumford & Sons after receiving backlash for praising right-wing journalist Andy Ngo's controversial book, Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan To Destroy Democracy in a since-deleted tweet. Now, he's made the decision to permanently leave the band.
The banjoist explained his decision in a lengthy statement via Medium. "Posting about books had been a theme of my social-media throughout the pandemic," he explained. "I believed this tweet to be as innocuous as the others. How wrong I turned out to be."
"I failed to foresee that my commenting on a book critical of the Far-Left could be interpreted as approval of the equally abhorrent Far-Right," Marshall admitted. "Nothing could be further from the truth. Thirteen members of my family were murdered in the concentration camps of the Holocaust. My Grandma, unlike her cousins, aunts and uncles, survived. She and I were close. My family knows the evils of fascism painfully well. To say the least. To call me 'fascist' was ludicrous beyond belief."
He went on to lament the burden his words put on his bandmates. "The distress brought to them and their families that weekend I regret very much. I remain sincerely sorry for that. Unintentionally, I had pulled them into a divisive and totemic issue," Marshal wrote. "Emotions were high. Despite pressure to nix me they invited me to continue with the band. That took courage, particularly in the age of so called 'cancel culture'. I made an apology and agreed to take a temporary step back."
"For me to speak about what I’ve learnt to be such a controversial issue will inevitably bring my bandmates more trouble. My love, loyalty and accountability to them cannot permit that. I could remain and continue to self-censor but it will erode my sense of integrity. Gnaw my conscience. I’ve already felt that beginning," he concluded his message. "The only way forward for me is to leave the band. I hope in distancing myself from them I am able to speak my mind without them suffering the consequences. I leave with love in my heart and I wish those three boys nothing but the best. I have no doubt that their stars will shine long into the future. I will continue my work with Hong Kong Link Up and I look forward to new creative projects as well as speaking and writing on a variety of issues, challenging as they may be."
Mumford & Sons addressed Marshall leaving with a loving Instagram post. "We wish you all the best for the future, Win, and we love you man. M, B & T," they captioned an old photo of the band.
Read Marshall's full statement here and see the band's post below.
This article was first published on iheart.com and is republished here with permission