Cancel culture strikes again: Mumford and Sons banjo player taking time away from band

It’s Grammy Awards week so what better way to celebrate than for a member of a popular English folk-rock band to come in the crosshairs of cancel culture? Mumford & Sons is an English folk-rock band formed in London in 2007. The band has won multiple awards, including two Grammys, one of which was for Album of the Year.

The band members are described as multi-instrumentalists. They include Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall, and Ted Dwane. Winston Marshall is stepping away from the band in response to the blowback he has received since posting a tweet in support of American journalist Andy Ngo. Ngo is known for his bold and fearless documenting of Antifa. Winston Marshall tweeted that he read Ngo’s book. He called Ngo “a brave man”. Welp. You know what happened next. Heads exploded and the perpetually angry mob went for Marshall.

On Saturday Marshall tweeted a photo of the book cover and said he finally got around to reading “Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy.” That simple tweet, now deleted, was all it took to set a chain of reactions into play. Marshall is a conservative who is often at odds with the other band members. Folk band members tend to be liberal and this group is not an exception to that general rule. They played at the White House for Obama in 2012. Marshall appeased the anti-Ngo chorus and apologized. Let that sink in – he apologized for reading a book and complimenting its author, simply because the author documents violent agitators. He didn’t even formally endorse the book. He didn’t tweet out that everyone should go buy the book.

Marshall, 33, said in a statement posted on Twitter: ‘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.

‘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.’

Marshall is a founding member of the band yet for the past four or so years, it is reported, there has been friction over his conservative views. He is the son of a wealthy investor and he supported Brexit. In 2019 he found himself in hot water in 2019, too, though it sounds like the whole band came under fire from fans.

Mumford & Sons last irritated left-wing supporters in 2019 after posing for a photo alongside Canadian professor and YouTube personality Jordan Peterson, a well-known critic of cancel culture who has also made controversial comments about Islam and immigration.

Mumford – who is married to actress Carey Mulligan, 35 – later said the post was not an endorsement of the academic’s views, and argued in favour of free speech.

‘We love the opportunity to disagree and I think that’s something that’s at risk of being quashed to too much of an extent,’ he said.

Yes, ironically, Marshall forced out of the band illustrates that there is no longer any place for freedom of thought or conservative-leaning points of view in today’s cancel culture. Now he is describing his conservative views as “blind spots” and apologizing for simply reading and enjoying a book. The band held crisis talks after the blowback began. The result was the band’s decision to kick him to the curb so as not to sully the band’s image.

A source close to the band said: “Winston’s staunchly right-wing political views have been causing tension for some time now within the band.

“There has been a rift forming for the past four years with some people even going as far to say he has been ‘radicalised’.

“Marcus would always be an advocate for his right to free speech and for him to believe what he wants.

“But his tweet on Sunday was the final straw and they said they couldn’t put up with it any longer because it massively impacts the band’s image.

“It has been hugely difficult but that was the decision they had to make.”

Not everyone criticized him from a left-wing view. Some noted that apologizing to the perpetually outraged never works. Stop apologizing.

This is a sad story all the way around. No one is free from cancel culture until enough people decide to ignore it and go on with their lives. Too bad this conservative musician wasn’t allowed to voice an opinion outside his role as a musician. He wasn’t performing and making a verbal statement during a concert. He wasn’t in the midst of a rant of any kind. He simply read a book. Let the band members ask him to leave if they must. He shouldn’t have apologized, though, especially since that was going to be the end result anyway. We live in incredibly stupid times.

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