Mumford & Sons Member Winston Marshall Exits Band After Praising Controversial Right-Wing Writer Andy Ngo

Mumford & Sons member Winston Marshall has exited the band after praising controversial right-wing writer Andy Ngo. In a since-deleted tweet, Marshall praised Ngo for his book Unmasked, which claims to go "inside ANTIFA's radical plan to destroy democracy." In his post, Marshall wrote to Ngo, "Finally had the time to read your important book. You're a brave man."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the tweet led to a major backlash and "intense mockery of the band." Ultimately, Marshall deleted it, and then issued an apology statement that also revealed he'd be taking time away from Mumford & Sons. "Over the past few days I have come to better understand the pain caused by the book I endorsed," he wrote in a tweet on Tuesday. "I have offended not only a lot of people I don't know but also those closest to me, including my bandmates and for that, I am truly sorry."

Marshall continued, "As a result of my actions I am taking time away from the band to examine my blindspots. For now, please know that I realize how my endorsements have the potential to be viewed as approvals of hateful, divisive behavior. I apologize, as this was not at all my intention."

THR notes that this is not the band's first run-in with controversy over ties to far-right personalities, as they also once invited Canadian academic Jordan Peterson to visit their studio in London. Peterson has been accused of expressing views that lean into transphobia, misogyny, and Islamophobia. A photo of some Mumford & Sons members with Peterson went viral and led to a lot of chatter online.

Marshall later appeared in a radio station interview and defended the photo. "I don't think that having a photograph with someone means you agree with everything they say," he said. "Primarily I'm interested in his psychological stuff, which I find very interesting."

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While Marshall's now-former bandmates do not appear to have issued a comment on the situation, Ngo posted a tweet on Wednesday that appears to be in reference to Marshall's apology statement. "I grieve for those who are made to suffer because they dare to read my work, or talk to me," he wrote. "The danger of Antifa & their allies is not only their willingness to carry out or support maiming, killing & terrorism—but also how they close curious minds from independent thought."