The members of the embattled rock band Hedley say they have withdrawn from consideration for three awards at this year’s Junos and plan to “talk about how we have let some people down, and what we intend to do about it.”
Last week, the pop-rockers were dropped by their management team and blacklisted by scores of radio stations, including the CBC, in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations that had been circulated by anonymous social media users.
“As a band, we have decided to withdraw our name from consideration for any awards at the Junos,” the band said in a statement released Monday. “We do not wish to be a distraction at Canadian music’s biggest night or to, in any way, take the focus away from the tremendous honour that is the Juno awards.”
The band says it is moving ahead with two dozen shows it has booked through March 23 because “the easy thing to do would be to cancel the tour and hide.”
The statement adds the band intends “to start making positive changes, starting right now.”
The former MuchMusic darlings — fronted by Jacob Hoggard and including Dave Rosin, Tommy Mac and Jay Benison — released a statement last Wednesday calling the allegations involving young fans “unsubstantiated” but acknowledged they “engaged in a lifestyle that incorporated certain rock ‘n’ roll cliches.”
The band continued its tour Monday night with a new opening act.
The two acts that were booked as openers for Hedley’s current tour — Neon Dreams and Shawn Hook — both announced Friday that they were backing out of the rest of the shows.
At the Molson Centre in Barrie, the band was joined by Liteyears, a four-piece pop band from Toronto. Two members of Liteyears told CBC News that they were not doing media and would not say whether they would be joining Hedley for the rest of the tour.
There were few signs of the controversy and even fewer wanted to talk about it. Nearly every seat in the arena was full.
Several fans lined the front row with printed #IStandWithHedley signs.