Leslie Feist is withdrawing from her tour with Arcade Fire following allegations of sexual misconduct levied against frontman Win Butler, writing in a social media statement, “I can’t continue.”
“I was never here to stand for or with Arcade Fire — I was here to stand on my own two feet on a stage, a place I’ve grown to feel I belong and I’ve earned as my own,” Feist stated. “I play for my band, my crew, their loved ones and all of our families, and the people who pay their hard-earned money to share space in the collective synergy that is a show. The ebb and flow of my successes, failures, and other decisions affect all of our livelihoods and I recognize how lucky I am to be able to travel the world singing songs about my life, my thoughts and experiences and have that be my career. I’ve never taken that for granted.
“My experiences include the same experiences as the many people I have spoken to since the news broke on Saturday, and the many strangers whom I may only be able to reach with this letter, or not at all,” she continued. “We all have a story within a spectrum ranging from baseline toxic masculinity to pervasive misogyny to actually being physically, psychologically, emotionally or sexually assaulted. This situation touches each of our lives and speaks to us in a language unique to each of our processing. There isn’t a singular path to heal when you’ve endured any version of the above, nor a singular path to rehabilitate the perpetrators. It can be a lonely road to make sense of ill treatment. I can’t solve that by quitting, and I can’t solve it by staying. But I can’t continue.
“I’m imperfect and I will navigate this decision imperfectly, but what I’m sure of is the best way to take care of my band and crew and my family is to distance myself from this tour, not this conversation,” she concluded. “I’m claiming my responsibility now and going home.” Check out the full statement below.
Update: Arcade Fire have responded to Feist’s withdrawal, saying in a statement, “”We are very sorry to see Leslie go home, but completely understand and respect her decision.”
On August 27th, four people accused Butler of sexual misconduct in a bombshell report by Pitchfork. Butler defended himself, saying, “While these relationships were all consensual, I am very sorry to anyone who I have hurt with my behavior.”
Following the allegations, Feist performed two concerts opening for Arcade Fire on their European tour. While she didn’t make a public statement until today, September 1st, she did donate a portion of her merch sales to Women’s Aid Dublin.
Arcade Fire’s tour is in support of their recent album, WE, and is scheduled to continue through December 1st. The musician Beck remains a part of the tour as an opener, and has so far remained silent about the allegations against the headlining act.
— Feist (@FeistMusic) September 1, 2022