Artist News

Mumford & Sons’ Winston Marshall “taking time away from the band” following right-wing book endorsement

By | Published on Wednesday 10 March 2021

Mumford & Sons

Mumford & Sons banjo player Winston Marshall has announced that he is “taking time away from the band”, following a controversial tweet supporting a new book by right-wing journalist Andy Ngo.

In a now-deleted tweet referencing Ngo and posted over the weekend, Marshall wrote: “Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man”.

The book in question, ‘Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan To Destroy Democracy’, was published in February. In a scathing review, the LA Times called it a “supremely dishonest” book that “has the ridiculous feel of a warning about the dangers of German communism issued in 1939”.

Wilson’s support of the book drew public derision from Mumford & Sons fans, and seemingly the same in private from the rest of the band.

In a statement posted this morning, Wilson says: “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 that I am truly sorry”.

“As a result of my actions I am taking time away from the band to examine my blindspots”, he goes on. “For now, please know that I realise how my endorsements have the potential to be viewed as approvals of hateful, divisive behaviour. I apologise, as this was not at all my intention”.

This is not the first controversy facing the band in recent years. In 2018, they were criticised after members of the band, including Marshall, were photographed in the studio with psychologist and right-wing commentator Jordan Peterson. In an interview with CBC Radio, Marshall said that it was him who had invited Peterson to visit the band while they were recording.

In that interview, Marshall denied that he and the band agreed with Peterson’s controversial views on feminism, white privilege and other political topics, saying: “I don’t think [Peterson’s] psychology is controversial, but the quasi-political stuff… I think it’s a conversation we’re having a little bit as a band and, do we want to get into the political stuff? Probably not”.

Though, it seems, Marshall has still been getting into “the political stuff” himself. Whether he will return to the band with his “blindspots” filled remains to be seen.