Mumford and Sons banjo player Winston Marshall has confirmed that he will take a leave of absence from the group in the wake of the controversy surrounding his recent endorsement of right-wing figurehead Andy Ngo.
Marshall came under fire this week after congratulating Andy Ngo on the release of his new book, Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy.
“Finally had to time read your important book,” Marshall wrote. “You’re a brave man.”
Naturally, the endorsement of such a polarising, right-wing figure didn’t sit well with a lot of fans, who took to social media to share their grievances.
“This is so damn disappointing and really reinforces all the bad stereotypes about what it means when you hear ‘the sound of banjos.’ Supporting fascism ain’t a good look,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Oh crap, a decent band I have to wipe from memory. Mumford and Sons’ banjo player fesses up to being a Nazi far-right idiot praising Ngo,” tweeted another.
And my personal favourite, “My sister is not happy to discover that “the hottest one!” among the Sons of Mumford is a nazi-azi-azi.”
Marshall has now taken to social media to acknowledge that he will be taking some time away from the band to reflect on his “blindspots.”
“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 the I am truly sorry,” Marshall wrote. “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 behaviour,” Marshall added. “I apologise, as this was not at all my intention.”
— Winston Marshall (@MrWinMarshall) March 10, 2021