PWR BTTM’s Fall, A Reflection Of Our Times
Obviously, I am not in the habit of defending sexual predators, and will never be, so this post is not about defending the now infamous PWR BTTM band. But it went downhill so fast, in a few days the duo was dropped by management, saw the music removed from iTunes and Apple Music, and is about to cancel a tour (there are credible rumors) … Their career is dead, almost dead, and I don’t think they will recover.
This aftermath is a combination of a few things. We surely have seen sexual scandals before, and in the past rock stars did survive … not anymore.
Do you want to see a list of rock stars who slept with underage girls? Here is one as a sample, since rock ‘n’ roll history is paved with these stories of underage teenagers sleeping with rock stars, and this wasn’t always consensual of course. But it was the 70’s, the 80’s the pre-social media era and nobody (or almost nobody) knew about it.
For the best or the worst, the PWR BTTM scandal is happening in 2017, a time when every second of everyone’s life shows up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, every subject is dissected in heavily monitored public forums like Reddit. David Bowie or Chuck Berry’s careers wouldn’t have survived if their sex escapades had been thrown to the social media warriors. And even if we learn about it much later, it’s not the same, they have had great careers and these are just old stories.
But social media are just one side of the story, there is also millennials’ love for political correctness, this generation doesn’t have the same values than the previous one, these are oversensitive people who propagate victimhood culture and outrage after outrage with a rare dedication. Everything has to be safe and nobody can stand a disappointment or to have his feelings hurt… indignation all over the internet follows when a ‘sexist’ adjective is placed before a female name, so imagine how a story like that of PWR BTTM was perceived: it was pure panic, this story had to disappear, very fast. Game over.
Rape is obviously a terrible thing but bands and musicians have survived terrible accusations in the past. Do you remember about the disastrous series of child molestation accusations against Michael Jackson? He barely survived but he did nevertheless, especially now that he is dead, his art is intact because this happened in the snapchat-free 90s. But with the outrage culture and political correctness of social media, PWR BTTM didn’t have a chance in 2017.