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Feist exits as opening act in Arcade Fire tour after frontman Win Butler faces sexual misconduct allegations

Leslie Feist, the singer behind the mononymously-named musical act Feist, announced Thursday that she would be exiting her role as the opening act on tour with Arcade Fire. The decision comes after Pitchfork published allegations of sexual misconduct against one of the band's co-founders, Win Butler.

In a statement published to her website and Instagram, Feist said she found out about the allegations from headlines, and after performing the first two nights of the scheduled tour, "what I'm sure of is the best way to take care of my band and crew and my family is to distance myself from this tour, not this conversation."

"My songs made this decision for me. Hearing them through this lens was incongruous with what I've worked to clarify for myself through my whole career," the statement says.

Feist alludes to what she's been through herself, writing, "My experiences include the same experiences as the many people I have spoken to since the news broke on Saturday...We all have a story within a spectrum ranging from baseline toxic masculinity to pervasive misogyny to actually being physically, psychologically, emotionally or sexually assaulted."

The allegations against Butler were first published in Pitchfork on Tuesday, and detail the experiences of four people who described experiences ranging from unwanted sexting to sexual assault. All were younger than Butler, ranging from 18 to 23 at the time, while he was in his mid to late 30s. 

In a statement provided to Pitchfork, Butler acknowledges having had sexual encounters outside of his marriage but insists that they were consensual. 

"I have never touched a woman against her will, and any implication that I have is simply false," Butler said in the statement. 

"While these relationships were all consensual, I am very sorry to anyone who I have hurt with my behavior," he continued, adding, "As I look to the future, I am continuing to learn from my mistakes and working hard to become a better person, someone my son can be proud of." 

Since the allegations were made public, the American-Canadian Butler's music has been pulled from multiple North American radio stations, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Company

"In light of the recent allegations against Win Butler, CBC Music will pause on playing Arcade Fire's music until we learn more about the situation," said Chuck Thompson, head of public affairs at CBC.

As of Thursday, Arcade Fire's European tour is set to continue as scheduled. 

If you or a loved one has experienced sexual misconduct, help is available; call RAINN's National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 for confidential 24/7 support.

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