Thanks to movements such as #MeToo and Time's Up, many abusers have been exposed to the public, and one of the most recent to be outed was Ameer Vann of the musical group Brockhampton.
Vann has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple of his past partners. They have stated that he was emotionally abusive, manipulative and that he had sex with underage fans. Vann responded to the allegations and explained that even though he was disrespectful and cheated on the women he dated, he did not do anything to those women without their consent. This news comes as a major shock since the accusations against Vann completely goes against the group's values.
These past two years, Brockhampton's popularity has skyrocketed because of how they have reinvented what it means to be both a boy band and hip-hop artists. The group is vocal about how they do not want to conform to the ideas of toxic masculinity and that they support the LGBTQ+ community, especially Kevin Abstract, the founder of Brockhampton who also happens to be gay.
As with every group of celebrities, the fans have been extremely devoted to them, maybe even to a fault. When the news came out of the allegations against Vann, I saw many fans defend him and express their anger towards Brockhampton because they decided to kick Vann out of the group in response to the claims against him. It is surprising to see just how many people thought that Vann should have been allowed to stay in the group considering how Brockhampton's fans praised Matt Champion, one of the members, for his verse on the song 'JUNKY' where he comments on rape culture and how men believe they are entitled to women's bodies.
It is hypocritical to claim that one of the reasons you like Brockhampton is because they have a song that talks about women's rights but then choose to proceed to attack them for taking action in support of the women who have been mistreated. They made the right decision by kicking Vann out of the band because it proves that they take these kinds of accusations seriously and that they do genuinely respect women.
The reaction that some of the fans have had to the news about Vann shows that they only support women's rights when it is convenient to them. It is easy for them to cut ties with a celebrity that turned out to be abusive when they themselves were not a fan of them, but once it is someone they admire, they refuse to trust the accounts of the women that have come forward. It is seen as too inconvenient to accept that an artist that you love was not who they claimed to be and then proceed to stop supporting them. Our perceptions of who we believe a celebrity is should not hold a higher value than the testimonies of the people who were a part of their lives.
Brockhampton fans have been saying that Vann was supposed to be the members' brother and that they should not have turned their back on him in his time of need. His alleged abusive behavior towards his partners is seen as a minor mistake that can be easily forgiven and forgotten. What the fans do not realize is that their reaction is what enables celebrities and other people in positions of power to barely be punished for committing crimes of sexual violence. When survivors of sexual violence see the public still rally support for an abuser who has been exposed, it only discourages them from coming forward with their own stories and it allows their abuser to continue their cycle of violence unscathed.
You cannot allow the connection you have felt with a celebrity blind you into assuming that they can do no wrong. Even though it hurts to know that a member of a band you respect was being abusive to their partners, it does not mean that you get to pretend that the women that were affected are unreliable. Everyone must stop putting their musical taste above the safety of women.