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24 Jun, 2021 16:43

Winston Marshall leaves Mumford & Sons after controversy over praising of book on Antifa extremism

Winston Marshall leaves Mumford & Sons after controversy over praising of book on Antifa extremism

Winston Marshall, the lead guitarist and banjo player for the band Mumford & Sons, announced his departure from the group on Thursday after his praise for conservative journalist Andy Ngo’s Antifa book sparked backlash.

Marshall became yet another victim of ‘cancel culture’ in March after he publicly praised Ngo’s New York Times bestselling book, ‘Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy’, and called the author a “brave man” for his on-the-ground journalism documenting the violence of militant Antifa activists in US cities.

Though he soon apologized for causing “pain” in his promotion of Ngo’s book, and announced a temporary absence from the band to “examine” his “blindspots,” Marshall announced that his absence would be permanent in a statement on Thursday – several months after the controversy.

Also on rt.com Mumford & Sons banjo player apologizes for endorsing Andy Ngo book, critical of Antifa, ‘takes time’ off the band amid backlash

In the statement, titled “Why I’m Leaving Mumford & Sons,” Marshall said that he “failed to foresee that my commenting on a book critical of the Far-Left could be interpreted as approval of the equally abhorrent Far-Right.”

Noting that 13 members of his family were murdered in the Holocaust, Marshall said being called a “fascist” for his promotion of the conservative book “was ludicrous beyond belief” and that the whole ordeal was “distressing” for his bandmates.

“The distress brought to them and their families that weekend I regret very much. I remain sincerely sorry for that,” he declared, adding that he had “unintentionally” pulled his co-musicians “into a divisive and totemic issue.”

Despite his previous apology for promoting the book, Marshall defended Ngo’s work, arguing that his commentary on a book “that documents the extreme Far-Left and their activities is in no way an endorsement of the equally repugnant Far-Right” and that “reporting on extremism at the great risk of endangering oneself is unquestionably brave.”

Marshall also expressed concern that his previous apology could promote the “lie” that far-left extremism “does not exist, or worse, is a force for good.”

“The only way forward for me is to leave the band,” Marshall concluded, expressing his hopes that his departure will allow him to speak his mind without hurting his former bandmates.

Responding to the news, broadcaster Piers Morgan praised Marshall’s “powerful” statement, calling him a “courageous guy who has been treated appallingly by the vile woke mob just for exercising his right to have an opinion.”

Former White House Director of Strategic Communications Alyssa Farah also shared Marshall’s “beautifully written but so very sad” piece, commenting, “We are becoming a society so devoid of grace & understanding toward one another that one ‘wrong’ viewpoint in the eyes of the cancel mob can ruin someone’s entire future. Tragic.”

Also on rt.com Mumford & Sons banjo player deemed a ‘Nazi sh**bag’ for praising book condemning Antifa

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