Hedley fans were shocked earlier this week, when they learned that the band was facing sexual misconduct allegations. Earlier today, February 16, it was revealed that the boys were dropped by their management team and their music cut from CBC’s streaming and radio platforms, among others.
According to the National Post, the rumors began circulating on Twitter within the last few days. Hedley front man Jacob Hoggard and his bandmates, Jay Benison, Tommy Mac, and Dave Rosin, are being accused by an anonymous source of “behaving inappropriately with younger fans” during their past tours. The band has since issued a statement calling these claims both “unsupported” and “unsubstantiated.” They did, however, admit that throughout their career they have “engaged in a lifestyle that incorporated certain rock ‘n’ roll cliches,” but went on to insist that the nature of these allegations centres around a “line [they] would never cross.”
As revealed by CBC News, Hedley has also been fired from their upcoming appearance at this year’s JUNO Awards, scheduled to air on CTV on March 24. Event organizer CARA, or the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts, reached a mutual decision with the band in which both parties acknowledged that Hedley’s attendance at the show would not be wise in the wake of this conflict. Other organizations have also distanced themselves from the band, including Bell Media, Corus Radio, and the founders behind WE Day, an event the group was heavily involved in.
Neon Dreams, one of the openers for Hedley during their current tour, pulled out of the shows almost immediately after the rumours came forth. Singer Shawn Hook, although admitting he was disheartened by the allegations, said he would continue to “fulfill [his] contractual obligations” and appear as promised.
Although many Hedley fans are heartbroken and feel betrayed by the boys they have supported so much over the past 15 years, others are refusing to believe the accusations and are standing by the group. Twitter, at the current time, is something of a battle field with users tweeting back and forth their views on the matter and many asking for more evidence before they, too, turn against the group.