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Mumford & Sons' Winston Marshall "Taking Time Away" From Band After Book Controversy

Elyse Dupre
·2 min read
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Winston Marshall is taking a break from Mumford & Sons.

The 33-year-old musician tweeted the announcement on Tuesday, March 9. The news comes after Marshall received backlash for praising Andy Ngo, the conservative writer of the book Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy.

"Over the past few days, I have come to better understand the pain caused by the book I endorsed," Marshall said in a statement. "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 realize how my endorsements have the potential to be viewed as approvals of hate, divisive behavior. I apologize, as this was not at all my intention."

Marshall did not specify how long he'd be away from the band.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the banjo and guitar player took to Twitter earlier in the week to praise the author. "Finally had the time to read your important book," he reportedly wrote in a since-deleted tweet. "You're a brave man."

Soon, Marshall received criticism for the endorsement. "So much for me going to any of your concerts ever," one social media user tweeted. "..#bye."

Added another Twitter user, "Glad I didn't get that lyric tattoo. Incredibly disappointed in you."

Musicians Performing Live on Stage

In a review of the book for The Los Angeles Times, Alexander Nazaryan wrote Ngo downplays the killings of Heather Heyer and Trayvon Martin. Nazaryan also wrote Ngo called the Proud Boys, which has been defined as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a "pro-Trump fraternity."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="und" dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/x9yddYc0g9">pic.twitter.com/x9yddYc0g9</a></p>&mdash; Winston Marshall (@MrWinMarshall) <a href="https://twitter.com/MrWinMarshall/status/1369481570319532033?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 10, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

This is not the first time a member of Mumford & Sons has come under fire. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the group also received backlash after they invited Jordan Peterson, who has been accused of transphobia and misogyny, to their studio in London.

Mumford &amp; Sons, 2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival
Mumford & Sons, 2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival

"I don't think that having a photograph with someone means you agree with everything they say." Marshall told q's Tom Power during a CBC Radio interview. "Primarily I'm interested in his psychological stuff, which I find very interesting."