Winston Marshall, a former banjoist and guitarist for Mumford & Sons, claims that he is no longer with the band “Following his controversial 2021 tweets, which led to his departure from the popular rock band, he “lost a lot of friends” and was “condemned” by other artists.
Marshall, 34, talked about being “cancelled” in a recent interview with the Sunday Times Magazine.
“I’ve met a few other people who have been canceled, whatever that means, and they talk about a couple of years later people who were part of the mobbing get in touch and say, ‘Hey mate, are you around?’ They helped destroy your life, but it was done so casually they don’t even remember,” Marshall shared. “I was surprised at how other artists condemned me. I lost a lot of friends.”
Marshall left the band in June 2021, citing a “difficult decision first brought about by an unintentional Twitter storm.” That controversy started in March, when Marshall congratulated notorious conservative writer Andy Ngo on his new book about antifa, the far-left anti-fascist movement. At the time, the musician posted a snapshot of Ngo’s book, Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy, which included a Fox News host’s endorsement.
“Congratulations @MrAndyNgo,” Marshall said in his tweet, which he subsequently deleted. “Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man.”
Marshall and the rest of the band received flak as a result of his remark. While he quickly apologised, the harm had already been done. During the repercussions, he says he had trouble sleeping and lost weight, and he reverted to practising Christianity. He eventually began to regret his decision to apologise.
“Your initial reaction is ‘I’m so sorry I’ve offended you,’” Marshall told the Sunday Times Magazine. “I apologized because I felt like maybe I don’t understand this topic fully, and I need to understand it.”
“As I continued to research I felt more and more that I’d participated in a lie,” he added. “That really affected my conscience. … Those few months between apologizing and quitting were psychologically very traumatizing.”
His bandmates were equally annoyed that their friend’s comments had drawn them into the debate.
“They were getting dragged under the bus with me; that was a horrible experience for them,” he shared.
Marshall finally recognised he had to pick between the band and his newfound views. Marshall insists that he “stepped out” on his own, despite claims that he was fired from the band.
Marshall also revealed that he has been drug and alcohol free for three years. After four years of marriage, he and actress Dianna Agron separated in 2020, around the time he claimed he was gay “came to Christ again.”
“I don’t miss fame, I don’t think it was real,” he said. “I was seduced by it. I got pulled into it. Particularly through this recent experience I’ve realized that a lot of my friends in that world weren’t my real friends.”
Marshall claimed that after he was free of the confines of the band, he “got his soul back.”
“I felt I could sleep again, it’s amazing the effect that had on me. It has been completely liberating, he said. “I feel like it was the right decision.”
He’s decided to focus on censorship, authoring an editorial titled “When Artists Become the Censors.” “Substack, written by Bari Weiss.
“Obviously artists have a right to boycott. The difference now is that it’s ‘silence him or I’m out,’” he explained. “This feels so bizarre and I don’t think it ends well. Musicians’ careers are all about self-expression, so how can they think that’s going to work if they’re not up for people expressing themselves?”
Despite his new career as a writer, Marshall claimed it was “incredibly difficult.” to leave the band he once adored.
“I imagined being in my 60s and still playing with the band,” he said. “That’s one reason it was so hard to leave. I thought we’d always be together.”