By Aisha Sharipzhan
Ethan Kath, songwriter and producer of the Canadian group Crystal Castles, has recently been in a legal battle with former bandmate Alice Glass after she accused Kath of sexual, physical and emotional abuse in a statement October 2017.
While there has been a huge focus on sexual misconduct in Hollywood (Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Jeffrey Tambor, and the list goes on), this conversation is often unheard in more niche areas of the entertainment industry.
This might also harm the #MeToo movement, giving the impression that only wealthy individuals can speak up against abuse. To give power and volume to the voices of victims, it is important to discuss cases of sexual misconduct not just among the top celebrities in the entertainment industry but also the smaller name artists, actors and actresses.
Here is the breakdown of Kath and Glass’s messy history.
In October 2014, Glass left the electronic music group Crystal Castles without revealing too much about her choice. On her Facebook page, she wrote, “My art and my self-expression in any form have always been an attempt towards sincerity, honesty, and empathy for others. For a multitude of reasons both professional and personal I no longer feel that this is possible within Crystal Castles. Although this is the end of the band, I hope my fans will embrace me as a solo artist in the same way they have embraced Crystal Castles.”
Edith Frances replaced Glass, as Kath continued to work on Crystal Castles’ latest album Amnesty (I), released 2016.
Crystal Castles was set to be the headliner at feminist music festival 79 cents, organized by Tumblr, in March 2016. But after Glass revealed in an interview with The Verge Kath is “not an appropriate artist to be performing at a feminism-centric event,” Tumblr removed Crystal Castles from the festival.
Three years after Glass left Crystal Castles, she released a horrific statement October 2017 on her website detailing the alleged physical and emotional abuse Kath put her through.
“Over a period of many months, he gave me drugs and alcohol and had sex with me in an abandoned room at an apartment he managed. It wasn’t always consensual and he remained sober whenever we were together…He held me over a staircase and threatened to throw me down it. He picked me up over his shoulders and threw me onto concrete. He took pictures of my bruises and posted them online. I tried to leave…” she wrote.
Kath denied the allegations and in a statement sent to Pitchfork, he wrote, “I am outraged and hurt by the recent statements made by Alice about me and our prior relationship…Her story is pure fiction and I am consulting my lawyers as to my legal options…”
On Nov. 17, 2017, someone posing as a fan handed Glass a court summons after her show in Chicago.
However, the most jarring of all the events in this timeline is the fact that Toronto police confirmed in December 2017, Kath was under official investigation for alleged sex crimes. Several anonymous sources have also come forward to The Daily Beast with further allegations that Kath abused young fans.
The latest update in this mess comes with the dismissal of Kath’s defamation suit against Glass in February 2018 – a victory for the Canadian singer who is continuing to make new music and perform. Glass tweeted Feb. 23 “this is a victory for survivors of abuse and sexual misconduct in countries where abusers use the court system to further victimize and keep people silent. WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED”
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Glass wondered how days of abuse turned into months and into years without proper protections and no interventions. She said in the interview, “I just assumed that these professionals were looking out for me, but they weren’t…There isn’t anything at all in place to protect vulnerable young women. In a lot of ways, I guess that’s kind of the point for predators in the entertainment industry: We’re easy targets.”
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of WikiCommons.
Aisha Sharipzhan is a senior journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.