The veteran band Hedley, long celebrated by the Juno Awards as a beacon of Canadian rock, and more recently pop, has been dropped as performers at this year's televised award show. The decision by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences was announced on Wednesday afternoon after allegations of sexual misconduct involving the British Columbia quartet surfaced online earlier this week.
According to the statement released by CARAS via Twitter, the decision to proceed without Hedley as one of the performing artists at the Vancouver gala on March 25 was made "after careful consideration of the situation and in discussions with the band."
The band has performed at the annual ceremony a half-dozen times, and front man Jacob Hoggard hosted the 2015 edition. Since 2006, Hedley has received a staggering 34 Juno nominations and two wins.
Originating from Abbotsford, B.C., Hedley is up for three Junos this year, including top group, best pop album (for Cageless) and the Juno Fan Choice Award. It is not known whether the group's nominations will stand.
In response to an online uproar, the Vancouver-based group released its own statement through record label Universal Music Canada. While declaring its appreciation for the bravery involved with the #MeToo movement, the band characterized the allegations against them as "unsupported accusations" and attempted to contextualize its past conduct.
"We realize the life of a touring band is an unconventional one," the band wrote, in a nearly 300-word statement.
"While we are all now either married or have entered into committed, long-term relationships, there was a time, in the past, when we engaged in a lifestyle that incorporated certain rock and roll clichés. However, there was always a line that we would never cross."
Hedley has long been embraced by Canadian institutions outside of the music industry, including as ambassadors for the charitable arm of the WE family of organizations that was formerly known as Free the Children. Co-founder Craig Kielburger once tweeted that their activism work was "amazing."
But Wednesday, a WE spokesperson told The Globe and Mail that in light of the allegation reports, the organization has "no plans to work with Hedley in the future."
The band had also been youth ambassadors for the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life, though a spokesperson said that "we worked with the band for a few years but no longer have a relationship with them."
And, Air Miles cancelled a contest promotion with Hedley, which was to let point collectors win VIP concert tickets to see the band. A spokesperson said winners would receive a consolation prize.
Hedley, whose hit singles include Kiss You Inside Out and For the Nights I Can't Remember, is currently embarked on an extensive Canadian tour, leading up to what was supposed to be a Juno homecoming.
The online allegations, from mostly anonymous sources, involve accusations of members of the band acting inappropriately with young women.
It was just a year ago that comedian Russell Peters turned in an embarrassing performance as host of the Ottawa-held Juno Awards, where he referred to the number of young women in the audience as a "felony waiting to happen."