Mumford and Sons banjo player Winston Marshall is taking a leave of absence from the band amidst outcry over his recent social media post praising right-wing agitator Andy Ngo.
In a tweet posted this past weekend, Marshall called Ngo a “brave man” and congratulated him on publishing a book about Antifa’s “radical plan to destroy democracy.” “Finally had the time to read your important book,” Marshall wrote.
Now, though, Marshall has issued a public apology and announced his intention to take time away from Mumford and Sons “to examine my blindspots.”
“Over the past few days I have come to better understand the pain caused by the book I endorsed. I have offended not only a lot of people I don’t know, but also those closest to me, including my bandmates and for the I am truly sorry,” Marshall wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “As a result of my actions I am taking time away from the band to examine my blindspots.”
“For now, please know that I realise how my endorsements have the potential to be viewed as approvals of hateful, divisive behaviour,” Marshall added. “I apologise, as this was not at all my intention.”
Ngo has emerged as a popular voice on the far right due to his reporting on left-wing groups. However, critics of Ngo say he often publishes selectively edited and misleading content in order to paint left-wing activists as violent while downplaying similar conduct on the right. Ngo has also been accused of associating himself with far-right groups such as the Proud Boys. And in a 2019 video, he was captured standing with members of white supremacist outfit Patriot Prayer as they planned an attack on ANTIFA members.
In his newly published book — the one praised by Marshall — Ngo downplays the murders of Heather Heyer by white supremacists in Charlottesville. He also refers to the Proud Boys a “pro-Trump fraternity,” and describes a mid-November “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington as “peaceful and celebratory.” On the other hand, Ngo likens left-wing activists as a “marauding gang” whose mission is to “destroy the nation-state, America in particular.”
— Winston Marshall (@MrWinMarshall) March 10, 2021