Starcrawler’s Arrow de Wilde says The Growlers filmed male stripper sexually assaulting her, band apologizes
The LA-based rock band has faced a slew of anonymous sexual misconduct allegations in the past few weeks, some of which they have denied. But Brooks Nielsen took full responsibility of de Wilde's allegations
On Thursday, July 30, Arrow de Wilde, the lead singer of the rock band Starcrawler, came forward with misconduct allegations regarding The Growlers, a Los Angeles based rock band. In an Instagram post, de Wilde wrote about an incident that she said occurred in January while her band was on tour with The Growlers in Melbourne, Australia.
According to the statement, The Growlers paid for a male stripper, who de Wilde said assaulted her in a locked backstage room. “The humor faded pretty fast when it just wouldn’t end,” she wrote. “I swear it went on for almost ten minutes. Every time I tried to get up he pushed me back down. It started to feel more and more degrading as each layer of clothing peeled off his body, The Growlers just continued to laugh and film the whole thing. Soon he was down to a speedo and I knew where it was headed.”
“While none of The Growlers band members assaulted me directly, they hired someone else to, for their enjoyment,” de Wilde wrote. She claimed that she was told the incident was orchestrated by Brooks Nielsen and cost the band “a few hundred bucks”, who called it “a pretty expensive joke.”
This is not the only accusation of sexual misconduct against the rock band. Earlier this month, a series of anonymous allegations of sexual misconduct were made against artists and employees of California-based garage rock label Burger Records. The Growlers, who have been associated with Burger Records, too faced anonymous allegations of misconduct, including their founders Brooks Nielsen and Matt Taylor.
The band released a statement on Instagram on July 21, denying some allegations and announcing plans to “look into” others. The same day, The Growlers keyboardist Adam Wolcott Smith announced on Instagram that he’d quit the band. He wrote, “I’m not innocent in abuse,” and admitted to an incident of sexual assault.
On Friday, July 31, Nielsen, issued an apology to de Wilde on the band’s Instagram. “I apologize for my actions, and for any band members, that have hurt, offended, or damaged any person or made anyone feel less than 100% safe,” Nielsen wrote. “I take full responsibility and accountability for the behavior of all The Growlers’ band members, past and present.”
Nielsen then acknowledged Arrow de Wilde’s allegations, calling it a “lack of judgment” that he “arrang[ed] a male stripper as an end-of-tour prank to dance for the great Arrow de Wilde.” He added, “This was a horrible idea that turned out even worse.”
“When I look back at the antics of the early The Growlers, I am regretful and embarrassed. We were trying to be provocative, unpredictable, and chaotic, but in reality, we were juvenile, idiotic, and cruel. We were blind to the big picture of the powers of the music and the responsibility of the artist to their fans,” he wrote. “I lacked empathy and awareness. What my friends and I might thoughtlessly have considered no big deal, or funny, or just meaningless, actually had a lot of significance for other parties involved.” Nielsen also announced Matt Taylor was taking a temporary leave from the band.
On social media, the statement issued by Nielsen was not received well. A Twitter user wrote, “Examples like The Growlers and SWMRS show that the music scene is not only not a safe space for fans, but for bands as well. The Growlers need to be held accountable for what they did. Sexual assault never has been and never will be a ‘prank’.”
Another wrote, “The Growlers keep posting apologies and every single one has been s***. Hey, don’t even address the girls they’ve sexually assaulted/harassed. They keep talking about the band as a whole and how they wanna better themselves by asking for advice from fellow artists which doesn’t even make sense. They keep talking about ‘crazy’ stunts but those aren’t even the issue. The issue is with every individual girl they’ve harassed/assaulted and the fact that they keep denying the allegations but claim to want to do better is disgusting.”