Mumford & Sons Banjoist Winston Marshall Quits Band, Blames "Cancel Culture"
The musician previously took a step back after facing backlash for his support of right-wing agitator Andy Ngo
Published Jun 24, 2021Earlier this year, Mumford & Sons' founding member, guitarist and banjo player Winston Marshall voiced his support of anti-Antifa journalist and right-wing agitator Andy Ngo. After facing immense backlash for his comments about Ngo's Unmasked, Marshall took a step back from the band. Now, that move appears to be permanent, according to a new statement from the musician.
In a lengthy announcement posted to Medium, Marshall explained that he has now exited the band entirely, blaming "cancel culture" for driving a wedge between him and his career, and attempted to clear up his political leanings.
Marshall said that while "there's nothing wrong with being conservative," when forced to politically label himself, "I flutter between 'centrist,' 'liberal' or the more honest 'bit this, bit that.'"
"Being labelled erroneously just goes to show how binary political discourse has become. I had criticized the 'Left,' so I must be the 'Right,' or so their logic goes," he said.
Marshall, the son of Brexit-supporting millionaire Sir Paul Marshall, went on to explain that he doesn't want to bring "more trouble" to the band, and despite his "love, loyalty and accountability" to them, he has made the decision to leave Mumford & Sons.
In response, Marshall's former bandmates have offered their support:
We wish you all the best for the future, Win, and we love you man. M, B & T. pic.twitter.com/EiXTIkxxL5— Mumford & Sons (@MumfordAndSons) June 24, 2021
Read an excerpt from Marshall's post below and see his full statement here.
I have spent much time reflecting, reading and listening. The truth is that my commenting on a book that documents the extreme Far-Left and their activities is in no way an endorsement of the equally repugnant Far-Right. The truth is that reporting on extremism at the great risk of endangering oneself is unquestionably brave. I also feel that my previous apology in a small way participates in the lie that such extremism does not exist, or worse, is a force for good.
For me to speak about what I've learnt to be such a controversial issue will inevitably bring my bandmates more trouble. My love, loyalty and accountability to them cannot permit that. I could remain and continue to self-censor but it will erode my sense of integrity. Gnaw my conscience. I've already felt that beginning.
The only way forward for me is to leave the band. I hope in distancing myself from them I am able to speak my mind without them suffering the consequences. I leave with love in my heart and I wish those three boys nothing but the best. I have no doubt that their stars will shine long into the future. I will continue my work with Hong Kong Link Up and I look forward to new creative projects as well as speaking and writing on a variety of issues, challenging as they may be.