Bassnectar announced via social media today that he will be taking a step back from his career following rumors of alleged sexual misconduct. Lorin Ashton, which is his legal name, has had a major impact on the electronic dance music scene and industry performing as Bassnectar, and also ran the nonprofit Be Interactive. Ashton made several statements through social media over the past week in regard to the rumors and allegations. He denies the rumors are true, but doesn’t specify the nature of the allegations.
“I am stepping back from my career and I am stepping down from my position of power and privilege in this community because I want to take responsibility and accountability,” Bassnectar said in a statement on Twitter. “I feel intense compassion for anyone I may have hurt. I truly hope you allow me a chance to work together toward healing. The rumors you are hearing are untrue, but I realize some of my past actions have caused pain, and I am deeply sorry. I am handing off our nonprofit Be Interactive to a diverse team to continue without my involvement moving forward. Sometime in the future I may share more thoughts on these matters, but for now, please take care of each other and I wish you all the brightest future.”
— Bassnectar (@bassnectar) July 3, 2020
Earlier this week, Bassnectar had posted on Twitter that the Be Interactive organization was creating scholarships for therapy via To Write Love On Her Arms, a nonprofit to help survivors of abuse. Bassnectar’s social media profiles always emphasized that Bassnectar was a collaborative music project, rather than a person, due to the number of people regularly involved with the nonprofit and show visuals. In the same post, he discussed possible power imbalances in relationships.
“One person felt very concerned about the danger of any high-profile man having a relationship with a female fan because of the potential unintended harm it could cause,” Bassnectar said in the statement. “I learned that due to the power imbalance, what could seem right in the moment could easily be reconsidered later, and there was a risk of harm. I listened and agreed, and I felt deeply embarrassed and ashamed at the thought that I could have ever caused harm to someone without knowing it. I asked her what she thought the solution was, since my relationships with female fans are in the past and are currently still positive, and I would never allow that situation in the future. She said ‘make yourself available and accountable. Be ready to own your actions and take responsibility to heal or address anything with anyone from your past.’ I agree wholeheartedly, so that is how I plan to spend my time this summer.”
— Bassnectar (@bassnectar) June 30, 2020
Prior to either of his official statements, Bassnectar made a post in a private Facebook group for fans. Some fans then shared his first statement to Twitter.
for anyone not in this group, a message from Bassnectar: pic.twitter.com/si07bCKHk0
— shaelyn ♒︎ (@shaelynspacyyy) June 29, 2020
“In my 20s and 30s I was traveling constantly, and never felt like I had a permanent home,” Bassnectar said in the post. “Most of the women I met were younger than me and in college, which at the time this did not seem strange or wrong or creepy. We had a lot of fun together, and in most cases we shared a beautiful connection or lasting friendship. Looking back now, I simply wish I had never opened up to anyone I met on the road, because any relationship in that context had the potential to get complicated, misconstrued, or cause unintentional emotional harm to others.”
Photo credit: Mehreen Rizvi