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Pinegrove Frontman Apologizes for Sexual Coercion

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Pinegrove frontman Evan Stephens Hall has posted an apology for “sexual coercion” on Facebook. The band have canceled all upcoming tour dates and you can read the full post below.

    i am about to talk about something serious and i want to begin by saying that my actions have caused someone i care about deep emotional pain and i am so sorry.

    i have been accused of sexual coercion. the accusation comes from someone i was involved with for a short but intense period of time. i won’t say more about this person because i want to respect her privacy and i ask anyone reading this to do the same.

    the time we spent together was complicated. i believed we were mutually in love and we said it to each other often. but she also sometimes expressed reservation—she was dating someone else, and the dissolution of that relationship would have yielded intense personal and professional consequences. we talked about it thoroughly, endlessly. it was convoluted, heavy, emotional. this whole period felt like an impossible situation with no right answer, but we were working through it together.

    eventually she broke up with her boyfriend. we got together again shortly after that, which lasted for about two weeks, during which we spent as much time together as possible. she met my parents. we discussed eventually moving in together. while it was by no means a simple relationship, it was sustained tenderly and i believed sincerely that it was mutual. i absolutely never threatened her, i never leveraged anything against her. i believed all of our decisions to be based in love.

    still, i am coming to terms with the fact that i monumentally misread the situation. i am trying earnestly to follow this line as deeply as it goes to reflect on all of the things i could have done, and can do, better.

    i should have more actively acknowledged my position of power as a public figure, and also as a man. i have always tried to approach all of my relationships under the premise of equality, but i see now more clearly that the inherent privilege of my gender and the accumulated privilege of being a recognized performer most certainly impacted this interaction.

    and in reflecting on interactions with other people i’ve met through music, i see i could have been better there too. i have been flirtatious with fans and on a few occasions been intimate with people that i’ve met on tour. i’ve reached the conclusion now that that’s not ever appropriate—even if they initiate it. there will always be an unfair power dynamic at play in these situations and it’s not ok for me to ignore that.

    i am also led to something that i said regarding all this that i regret immensely. i said that i could sense who from the crowd would be interested in sleeping with me based on how they watched me perform. this comment applies such a dark layer to my interactions with people after our sets. nobody coming to a concert deserves to be evaluated based on their sexual potential by the performer. i absolutely crossed a line with that comment and that behavior, and i am so sorry.

    i’m led further to consider my demeanor in most relationships i’ve been in. i can be very talkative and excitable, talking about wild plans, dreams, wanting to share everything. and i’m realizing that part of that confidence stems from my privilege as a man. i also realize that sort of approach doesn’t leave room, or leave time, for my partner to reflect and come confidently to her feelings; that my enthusiasm doesn’t leave space for any ambiguity on her end; it doesn’t leave enough room for a meditative personal process. i believe that happened here too and i feel ashamed that my enthusiasm prevented me from listening as patiently as i should have.

    i recognize that this is the beginning of a long process of reflection. in an effort to take time to make positive changes in my life and out of respect for what she is going through, we are cancelling our upcoming US tour. we’ll be taking some time off in general. i started therapy on wednesday november 15th and plan to continue indefinitely. i am sincerely committed to improving my mental health and the way i treat everyone i interact with.

    i am being held to account by the people close to me but the point of this post is not about me — it is an apology to the person i hurt and to the people i disappointed: my bandmates, my friends, my family, our fans. i’m so sorry. i have never felt remorse like this before. i will think about how i could have been better in this situation for as long as i live.
    – evan

  2. The Format Nov 21, 2017
    (Last edited: Nov 21, 2017)
    The Format


    Pinegrove is great. Can someone explain where the implication is here?

    Not to over simply this but it sounds like he cheated on his girlfriend who was also at one point cheating on her boyfriend with him. While it does sound complicated, I don't understand the implication or coercion.
  3. Mr. Serotonin Nov 21, 2017
    (Last edited: Nov 21, 2017)
    Mr. Serotonin

    I'm still staring down the sun Prestigious

    Hmmmm. This seems...strange?
  4. _unproductive


    This is a dangerous line to walk.. how do you ever expect to find someone, fall in love, and have a sexual relationship? Lets also not forget that consenting adults, without feeling shame, are allowed to have sex.
  5. zachmacD


    I was literally about to post this. So he's not allowed to sleep with fans because he's in a band? I have a family friend who used to be in a band ( a band probably everyone on this site would know) and he met his wife at one of their shows.
  6. The Format Nov 21, 2017
    (Last edited: Nov 21, 2017)
    The Format


    Weird times, man.
  7. _unproductive


    Granted my old band in 2009 had like zero fans... but i meet my wife at a show. This is just wild.
  8. SmithBerryCrunch

    Trusted Prestigious

    Yeah, maybe I'm missing something, but I'm just confused by his statement.
    Mr. Serotonin likes this.
  9. tyramail

    Trusted Supporter

    I’m also confused.
    Mr. Serotonin likes this.
  10. vidiviciveni


    What I don't understand about this scenario is that implies that there isn't always a power dynamic in a sexual relationship. There almost always is - it's called sexual polarity, and it is neither illegal nor immoral to take advantage of it.
  11. Sander


    huh...? what a weird situation
    Mr. Serotonin and KalValor like this.
  12. KyleK

    Let's get these people moving faster! Supporter

    Not that I'm in any position to know to what degree he meant that - but on first read I took it as meaning he wouldn't partake in sudden sexual encounters with fans he meets at their shows. That's a very specific interpretation, and I'm sure he meant it more broadly than that, but I imagine the circumstances could be different if a relationship with someone he met at their shows patiently grew in a more balanced and manner, compared to where in the past it sounds like he's had one night stands that he now recognizes were too heavily due to the imbalanced power and influence he wields.
    zachmacD, fenway89 and Aaron Mook like this.
  13. kait_whiteside


    This was very cringe-y and convoluted.
  14. Ellite25


    I’m not sure I really understand what he did. What was the coercion?
  15. Transient_Hymn

    Somebody Turn the Neon Down Supporter

    This seems like an over-reaction based on the information we’ve been presented.

    I mean, the world exists, relationships exist, and people aren’t perfect.

    Good on him for being consciensous but there is some repressive guilt here that I think he might be feeling a bit to a much.
  16. Ellite25


    If a consenting adult chooses to sleep with him is it really an issue?
  17. mirrorsandfevers

    what is the vibe?

    Selfishness through apology.
  18. The Format


  19. St. Nate

    من النهر إلى البحر Prestigious

    I don't know what he did, but all I could gather is that he was shitty to a fan he was in a relationship and understands that his status as a front man of a popular band allows him to do such a thing and he is aware of that.
    coleslawed and fenway89 like this.
  20. Ellite25


    If I interpret it correctly it means that he talked about himself throughout.

    But imo he was being self reflective and analyzing his behaviors and the mistakes he’s made. I think it’s ok to talk about that stuff. It’s ok to talk about how you view yourself after something happens and how you plan to move forward.
  21. KyleK

    Let's get these people moving faster! Supporter

    It would seem the lesson he's taken away from the person he's hurt is that consent may not be as black and white as he thought. This is an important time for celebrities (no matter what level of fame they may have) to realize they wield a lot of influence on teens and adults alike, and they need to bear that responsibility accordingly. Some might say he's overreacting to avoid relationships and sexual encounters with (adult) fans, but he may feel now it's not worth the risk of hurting someone who doesn't recognize the emotional influence he has, and it also sounds like he's becoming aware of some shitty things he's done in the past and needs to take a more clear-cut approach to avoiding opportunities for the behaviour in the future.

    But I realize shouldn't be speculating on his intentions, nor do I mean either of my posts as a defense of him.
  22. Mr. Serotonin Nov 21, 2017
    (Last edited: Nov 21, 2017)
    Mr. Serotonin

    I'm still staring down the sun Prestigious

    People also do this when they aren't celebrities or famous in any way. If someone becomes infatuated with you, you can abuse that power. Of course, that makes you not a great person morally, but if you're both consenting nothing illegal happened. It sucks, cause I don't know if there's actually a way to prevent it.
  23. Ellite25 Nov 21, 2017
    (Last edited: Nov 24, 2017)


    I see what you’re saying. I think these situations have a lot nuance to them. If a person in a band uses their influence/power to pressure someone into doing something they really don’t want to then that’s morally wrong, even if the person ultimately “consents”. If a couple of adults (one being a band member) hang out after a show, show mutual interest, and end up having sex then I don’t see a problem. I don’t think every situation like this is an abuse of power but I certainly see how it can easily turn into that.
    Mr. Serotonin likes this.
  24. youwontknow

    If I smile with my teeth, bet you'd believe me

    So not sure what that statement really means, I guess like a bunch of other people. All their tour dates are cancelled. So are we still allowed to listen to them with a clear conscience? o_O
    zachmacD and fenway89 like this.
  25. mirrorsandfevers

    what is the vibe?

    By apologizing he then controls the narrative to be solely about him being transparent but considering how vague and confusing the entire situation is, it isn't helpful. It's just selfish.
    Fucking Dustin and Shakriel like this.