Winston Marshall, the banjoist and lead guitarist for Mumford & Sons, is “taking time away from the band” following the social-media backlash surrounding his praise of far-right writer Andy Ngo. In a statement posted on Twitter on Tuesday, Marshall wrote, “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 that I am truly sorry. 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. I apologise, as this was not at all my intention.”
The controversy arose when Marshall, in a since-deleted tweet, praised Ngo for his book, Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy. “Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man,” Marshall tweeted at the time. Mumford & Sons has not yet commented on the situation.