Merge Records has pulled all Ian Svenonius’ music following a now-deleted Instagram post he had made admitting to wrongdoing against women and “acting the creep.” Svenonius, best known for his work in Nation of Ulysses, had made the post last week following the shutdown of Burger Records after numerous allegations came out against various members of bands signed to the indie label. Merge Records announced they would be pulling Svenonius’ catalogue via Twitter.
— Merge Records (@mergerecords) July 29, 2020
“Merge Records has severed ties with Ian Svenonius moving forward, and we are pulling his catalog from our web store, physical distributors, and streaming/download services,” Merge Records said in a statement on Twitter. “The information and allegations surrounding Ian’s post last Friday have been illuminating and disheartening. We see and stand with all those who have come forward and those who haven’t, and we will continue working and listening to do our part in making the music community one that is safer and more inclusive for everyone.”
Merge Records have released music from several of Svenonius’ projects, including Escape-ism and Too Much. Brooklyn Vegan transcribed Svenonius’ statement prior to its deletion, which began with Svenonius commenting on the environment in the indie rock scene which allowed power imbalances to take place, before coming forward and admitting his own behavior.
“While we loathe the rock prescriptions of misogyny, power imbalance, sexual objectification, et al, we have also lionized the exploits of the greatest public degenerates (outside of politics, industry and military), the top sinners, the scum and the perverts and, at times I too have manifested aspects of their tawdry behavior,” Svenonius said in his now-deleted Instagram statement. “I want to use this forum to say that I support people speaking out for the eradication of abuse predatory modes and also that I am absolutely one of the guilty parties. That, through my narcissism, egotism, and thoughtlessness, I have acted the creep. That I have made people I cared about and respected feel terrible, have been completely inappropriate to women. While this may seem like virtue signaling, it’s not. We are interested in creating an accountable world where this kind of dialogue isn’t necessary. To anyone I have made feel bad or uncomfortable, I sincerely apologize and throw myself at your mercy. I have always believed that I was a revolutionary and now my revolutionary act is self immolation.”
Merge Records pulling Svenonius’ discography is only the latest example of record labels dropping artists following allegations of sexual misconduct. Prior to their shutdown, Burger Records had made the announcement that they would be pulling music of any artists facing allegations of sexual misconduct in a “zero-tolerance” policy. The Buttertones had also been dropped from their label, Innovative Leisure, following allegations against the band’s bassist.