A fan petition is calling to have Hedley pulled from this year’s Juno Awards show in Vancouver over multiple accusations of sexual misconduct.
“We are aware of the serious allegations regarding Hedley and we are following this situation very closely,” said Allan Reid, President & CEO, CARAS/The Juno Awards and MusiCounts, in a statement to ET Canada on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, following Hedley’s statement, The Juno Awards released the following statement confirming the band won’t perform at the show on March 24: “After careful consideration of the situation and in discussions with the band, CARAS and Hedley have decided that the band will not be performing at the 2018 Juno Awards.”
Hedley has since responded to the accusations on social media on Wednesday:
“All of us in Hedley respect and applaud the #MeToo movement and the open and honest discussion it has inspired. We believe these conversations are particularly important within the music industry, which does not exactly have an enviable history of treating women with the respect they deserve. We appreciate the bravery of those who have come forward with their own stories, and we realize that all of us, as individuals and as a society, can and must do better when it comes to this issue.
However, if we are to have a meaningful, open and honest discussion, we all have to accept and respect that there are at least two sides to every story. The recent allegations against us posted on social media are simply unsubstantiated and have not been validated. We would hope that people will bear-in-mind the context in which these unsupported accusations have been made before passing judgement on us as individuals or as a band.
We realize the life of a touring band is an unconventional one. While we are all now either married or have entered into committed, long-term relationships, there was a time, in the past, when we engaged in a lifestyle that incorporated certain rock and roll cliches. However, there was always a line that we would never cross.
We realize this conversation is as important to our fans as it is to us, and we never want to distract from these important discussions. To that end, as we move forward, we will be evaluating some of our next steps. Hedley’s music should only ever be a positive force, and our performances and personal appearances should continue to be inclusive and safe experiences that bring nothing but joy and happiness to our fans.”
Numerous people on social media have accused members of the band of committing such serious acts. Among the stories are accusations Hedley preyed on girls as young as 14-years-old.
The heated backlash sparked the Twitter hashtag #OutHedley2k18. A user simply going by “T” is publishing what are supposedly anonymous stories about sexual misconduct relayed to her by alleged victims and witnesses.
Global News spoke with T by phone, who said she was inspired to take her story online after seeing others share similar experiences on social media.
“Enough is enough,” T told Global News. “I just went to Twitter and started sharing and asking for people to share their stories. I didn’t expect it to blow up the way that it did.”
She added that she was overwhelmed by sheer volume of responses she received. “I’m just I’m so shocked that they’ve gotten away with so much,” she said. “Some of these girls are very, very hurt by what happened to them.”
Describing what happened to her, she said that Hoggard grabbed her backside when she met him a few years ago at a bar. She was 18 at the time, and said at first she felt flattered. Four years later, however, the 22-year-old now sees the incident as “messed up” and “sleazy.”
Hedley is nominated for four Juno Awards this year, including Fan Choice Award and Group of the Year.
ET Canada has reached out to Hedley’s rep for comment.