Much has changed since the #MeToo movement opened the floodgates on sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace.
It made it possible for women, and men as with Kevin Spacey’s accusers, to speak out against powerful men who took advantage of their position to get away with sexual assault.
And, when Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein were found guilty, it sent a message to those who thought they could evade justice that their number was up.
While the fight is far from over, many feel more at ease coming forward with their stories.
The latest comes to us, not from Hollywood, but the music industry. In this case, the victim isn’t speaking out. Rather, a witness is describing the harrowing events that allegedly took place during The Killers’ 2009 US tour.
The accusations have been levied against members of the stage crew and the band.
Before we take a closer look, it’s important to note that the current touring team and stage crew are different from the one that they used back then.
The woman, who goes by Chez Cherrie on Twitter, shared her story, first published in 2018, and republished by Craig Montgomery, on his blog, Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs, in which she recounts her time working with the band
Trigger warning. This is my story. I was a tech for the largest sound company in the world working for one of the biggest bands in the world (still).
I’ve never had any sort of justice. I wonder about her all the time.
Please share my story about my time with THE KILLERS. https://t.co/SlELWD6aje
— Chez Cherrie (@ofcherrie) July 28, 2020
In her story, she recounts the rampant sexism from fellow roadies, and the multiple incidents of sexual misconduct that took place on the tour:
About a week into the tour, the bus became unsafe. The band members (who had their own bus), would bring drunken groupies to our bus and laugh when the girls were too drunk to realise everyone was making fun of them. It was like a sport to them. They clued the audio crew into a special that they had going on. If we trolled for chicks for them, made sure we checked IDs and the girls would come backstage with the unspoken arrangement that they would blow a band member, we could get a $50 bonus. Even more, if the girl would get naked and shower for one particular member, we would get an extra $50.
On one of the band member’s birthdays, one of the crew was making fun of two drunk groupies near the buses.
They wanted to meet the band so badly, and the backline tech spelled it out to them in very plain terms. They could get on the bus, but only if they gave the band member a birthday blow job. One of the girls was totally into it, but the other was not. So he told her that if she got topless, right then and there, the other girl could blow the guy, and she would just have to watch.
The blog post is titled ‘Dressing Room A’, the room in which one of the most disturbing accounts of sexual misconduct allegedly took place:
The show was rocking and we were about half way through our load in when the FOH engineer came over radio and said, “Hey guys, there is a girl set up in Dressing Room A. Put your name on the list outside the door with your radio channel and we’ll call you when it’s your turn.”
She knew that this instruction wasn’t aimed at her, but it made her spine crawl. She continued to do her job while hearing the names of the men who had put their names on the list called one by one over the radio when it was “their turn”.
I consoled myself with the notion that this woman, whoever she was, was a consenting adult. She knew what she was doing and I couldn’t judge the men who were taking part, many of them “happily” married with children. It wasn’t my place to judge.
Later, everyone was swapping stories about this woman and their experiences with her.
They talked about her intoxication level, yet had no qualms that she was obviously blacked out, or close to it. They made fun of one of the hired guns because he had made out with the woman when he was third in line. They called him a homo because he had made out with her post blowing other guys. I just tried to ignore what was going on.
As the bus was departing, a security guy came running to their bus. He stopped the driver:
The security guy said, and I will never forget this moment because a piece of me died that night, “That girl in Dressing Room A is passed out and naked. Is anyone going to take care of her? Do you have a number of a friend or someone we can call?”
According to the BBC, The Killers have responded with a media statement. A legal representative for the band said that they will be conducting a full investigation into events.
“The band are astonished and shocked by these claims. The behaviour attributed to them and their crew is unrecognisable and in direct opposition to the principles with which they run their workplace.”
Pitchfork interviewed Chez Cherrie, who said that the fact that The Killers are not “coming at me and claiming everything is false is a good sign”.
And I appreciate that they seem to want to get in touch with me. I have not received a cease and desist yet. I have not been contacted by anybody. They do have my contact information, as I remember it is in their records. So at this point I’m just waiting to hear from them. To find out how they would like to fix this.
This is not likely to be the end of the allegations. Once this type of story gets out, more people tend to come forward.
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