Yesterday Amen Dunes publicly opened up about his history of sexual abuse.
The thing is, he didn’t want to. He was forced to.
A couple days ago, journalist Jessica Hopper decided to dig up a 2014 interview that Amen Dunes did with No Fear Of Pop. In the interview Dunes was asked whether or not he could see himself collaborating with women in the future, he said, at the time, that it was “not [his] vibe,” and “I just don’t think chemically it’ll work.”
The full exchange is as follows:
Interviewer: “Do you think you could ever see yourself doing a riskier album than Spoiler, like do a collaboration album with a female artist you like, or like a favorite contemporary female artist?”
Amen: “To be honest, I don’t think my energy would work with that. I mean, I love women, and I have plenty of female friends, but I don’t think my energy would work with a woman. I don’t know, I can’t imagine it, actually. It’s just not my vibe, and I don’t mean that in any kind of disparaging or critical way; I just don’t think chemically it’ll work.”
Hopper tweeted out the 2014 quote, expressing her rage and implying Dunes is sexist and misogynistic. I’d love to show you her original tweet but I can’t because she has, rightfully, since deleted it and the completely cancerous “thread” it caused. But, nonetheless, immediately after hitting post the Twitter warriors sprang into action, assuming they had just found their latest cancellation.
Other musicians attempted to pile on.
And other journalists wanted to get in on the fun.
There aren’t many degrading tweets left now that Dunes shared his side of the story. The vast majority of which were deleted and only a few of Twitter’s best and brightest minds have still left their Amen insults up for the world to see, with many backtracking and apologizing or attempting to justify their previous statements.
Amen went as far as to directly tweet at those who were calling him out.
Jess Hopper, the journalist that started it all, has made a few apologetic tweets since the incident and has rid her account of anything accusatory.
Then Twitter did what it does best and users started attacking Hopper.
Pitchfork wasn’t spared either after covering the story and excluding the fact that Hopper is a contributor to the site.
Bringing this whole debacle full circle.
What’s to learn from all of this?
Honestly, that’s for you to decide. Tilt Chamberlain, the bassist for The War On Drugs, shared his thoughts (on Twitter of course).
And I think he’s right, this is a really good lesson in how social media’s cancel culture and rage posting can backfire, create false storylines, or wrongfully accuse. Hopper isn’t to blame here, neither are the users who quickly tweeted out their disgust for Dunes upon initially seeing his 4-year-old quote, it’s the culture that is at fault. Twitter encourages users to respond in an instant and users know that if they don’t share their thoughts immediately that they will be buried under hundreds of other replies, forcing them to react in an instant if they want to stay relevant. Sure, you can blame the users and say they don’t need to constantly strive to attain relevancy but the platform also supplies the idea that any given opinion actually matters and that your follower count is emblematic of your importance. That notion, simply put, is just not true, yet we still abide by it.
That’s why we need to talk about Amen Dunes. And a larger conversation needs to be had about where this is all heading and how we can fix these issues. Tearing down another person’s life on social media shouldn’t be a regular thing that we all participate in and then praise ourselves for after. On the other hand, Twitter is quickly establishing this “Boy Who Cried Wolf” sentiment as there are countless other cases of similar instances and I fear the day that we immediately start sympathizing with the “wolf.” I don’t have all the answers, honestly, I don’t have any. My solution is to simply not go off and accuse or defend people who I don’t even know on social media — you can do the same if you’d like.
Oh, also, I archived this page in case any of the above tweets have since been deleted.