What JLS and the Backstreet Boys can learn from Brockhampton
When one of Brockhampton's own was accused of rape, they kicked him out of the band and guess what? They are doing just fine
After he was charged with rape on Friday, friends and colleagues of British pop star Oritsé Williams have been showering support for the singer on social media. The former JLS star allegedly raped a fan after a concert in Wolverhampton in December 2016. According to reports, the singer and his friend Jamien Nagadhana, both 31, allegedly attacked a 20-year-old waitress after inviting her to their hotel room along with one of her friends. While Williams has been charged with rape, Jamien faces a serious assault charge.
Former JLS singer Aston Merrygold called Williams the "nicest", "most humble", "caring", "selfless" and "hardworking" person he knew. He added that he "could go on" with the compliments.
Posting a throwback photo of the boys when they were just starting out on 'X Factor', Merrygold said that he would always "stand" in Williams' "corner". Rochelle Humes, singer and television personality, who is married to another former JLS bandmate Marvin Humes commented on the post - "Always." The 31-year-old singer will appear in court on 11 October.
There's something very problematic about this situation. The era of #MeToo has seen many power players fall thanks to the courage it has instilled in women speaking up against atrocities committed against them. Men have been fired because of these accusations and yet, here we are celebrating the character of someone who allegedly attacked a 20-year-old girl who is said to have gone back to the hotel room to grab her forgotten purse for her taxi money.
Similarly, when Nick Carter was accused of sexual assault last year (the charges against him were dropped recently after the statute of limitations expired on the case) by singer Melissa Schuman, his bandmates came out saying what a stellar guy he was.
Brian Littrell even went on to say that some people were just "fame seekers" implying that Melissa was doing it just to get attention. "He has our full support," Littrell had said, "Unfortunately there are fame seekers that are out there. This situation, he’s been forthright and honest with us and we have to stand behind our bandmate."
He claimed that it was an attempt to pull them down because they were doing so well in their careers. AJ from BSB also added, "I totally support my brother, man. He’s a gentleman and a scholar… I think he’s innocent and I love him. It’s not in his nature. He’s not that kind of person, and I’ve known him since he was 12 years old," he told TMZ.
Meanwhile, Nick's statement reflected the sheer arrogance that #MeToo is trying to fight. He said: "Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual." Probably because it was 2003 and scary for a young singer to take on one of the top boybands ever?
These boybands can probably learn a thing or two from Brockhampton. When one of their original members Ameer Vann was accused of sexual assault by multiple women on Twitter in May this year, Brockhampton was quick to get with the times. They not only kicked him out of the band, they also said, "We want to sincerely apologize to the victims affected by Ameer’s actions. We were lied to, and we’re sorry for not speaking up sooner."
Understandably, Williams cannot be kicked out of a band that doesn't exist (they split in 2013), but his friends could spare us the testimonials until justice is served.