The man in charge of the Juno Awards has offered a response to fans calling to have Canadian pop-rock band Hedley pulled from this year’s awards show in Vancouver over multiple accusations of sexual misconduct.
“We are aware of the serious allegations regarding Hedley and we are following this situation very closely,” Allan Reid, president & CEO, CARAS/The Juno Awards and MusiCounts, said in a statement.
Numerous people on social media have accused members of the band of committing serious acts. Among the stories are accusations Hedley preyed on girls as young as 14 years old.
Global News has reached out to the band and their record label but hasn’t heard back by the time of publication.
Activists are calling for the Junos to drop Hedley as a performer after the allegations popped up on Twitter. Hedley is nominated for four Juno Awards this year, including the Fan Choice Award and Group of the Year.
One Twitter user who’s been leading the charge against the band is @_Cndnpsycho, who goes by T. She doesn’t want to give her name to protect her professional career.
She said she first saw people tweeting about the band earlier this week, and she decided to take her story online to inspire people to share their stories.
“Enough is enough,” T told Global News by phone. “I just went to Twitter and started sharing and asking for people to share their stories.
“I didn’t expect it to blow up the way that it did.”
She said she was overwhelmed by the amount of response she received on the last day.
“I’m just, I’m so shocked that they’ve gotten away with so much,” she said. “Some of these girls are very, very hurt by what happened to them.”
Multiple people told T that lead singer Jacob Hoggard offered to buy underage girls drinks, while others said he touched them inappropriately without consent.
Some of the stories involved underage girls, others involved those who were of consenting age (which is 16 years old in Canada), but even if the action isn’t illegal, T said it’s still an abuse of power.
“It’s an abuse of power to take these young girls who look up to them,” she explained.
In her own case, she said Hoggard grabbed her backside when she met him a few years ago at a bar.
She was 18 at the time, and said at first felt flattered because she didn’t know any better. But now, at 22 years old, she called the incident “messed up” and “sleazy.”
*with files from ET Canada