A Creative Ego Is No Excuse For Bullying!
“With Abney Park attending the Whitby Goth Weekend in 2017 – I hereby publically call for their singer Robert Brown to issue a complete and unreserved apology to the many wonderful UK Steampunk musicians, bands and members from our Steampunk community who he insulted, defamed and verbally abused via his recent infamous Facebook rant!” – Atticus Oldman: The Absinthe Affair & Steampunk Almanac
Full Statement: 28th February 2017
”With Abney Park appearing at Whitby Goth Weekend this April – It is time to address a certain serious issue.
As anyone who has – even for a short time – become involved or immersed in steampunk can only be too well aware, in addition to a love of Neo-Victorian finery and fiction, a passion for retro-science and science fiction and a yearning for imagined worlds and alternative realities – What really binds the international steampunk community together is support and a deep respect for each other’s freedom of artistic expression, creative output and original interpretation of what can now be considered classic steampunk themes.
When these freedoms and basic rights are threatened and abused, a stand has to be made and those behind the abuse have to be challenged and brought to account.
Based on this premise I hereby launch a public call for Robert Brown of US Goth-Steampunk band Abney Park to issue a full and unreserved apology to the bands and musicians of the UK’s Steampunk community that Brown decided to publicly insult and subject to a vicious prolonged verbal tirade of abuse and bullying via a Facebook forum discussion last summer.
The behavior I personally witnessed as the situation unfolded over the course of several hours that night last May was simply one of the most disgusting examples of arrogant, self-obsessed attempts at bullying I have encountered in over two decades of experience in creative and social web development. Sadly, the matter didn’t end with Brown being immediately banned from the forum in question due to his outrageous comments, threats and attempts at intimidation were also later made via personal messaging to several musicians who participated in the forum.
While attempts were later made by Brown to cry victim accompanied by editing of some discussion posts and deletion of others – The entire incident was actively witnessed by many of the most influential names in the Steampunk music sector in addition to being fully documented by screen-capture imaging. Ramifications following the incident included protest from the bands insulted, articles on well respected Steampunk websites questioning Brown’s behavior and withdrawn invitations to appear from at least one of America’s most popular Steampunk festivals.
Protesting the costs of running Abney Park in the light of reduced album sales recently made whilst preparing to fly both band and family to Disneyland, Brown blamed the reduction in the band’s fortunes on fans streaming rather than buying their music. However, There are many who feel that it is Brown’s own behavior and actions such as his infamous Facebook rants that are alienating both old and new fans alike.
This springtime Abney Park will be jetting over the pond to enjoy the hospitality of the good people of Whitby and the same UK Steampunk community so grievously abused online by their singer Robert Brown. This should be of immense embarrassment to everyone involved with Abney Park. However – Due to the good manners and respect so precious and fundamental to the steampunk ethos, particularly here in the UK, the band will undoubtedly be warmly welcomed and received.
Faced with such a strong reminder of basic Steampunk civility, what better time for Brown to try to make some amends for his outrageous behavior – Beginning by issuing a complete and unreserved apology to the many wonderful musical individuals and outfits he offended and abused.
So… Robert Brown of Abney Park…
Will you accept your actions were unacceptable?
Will you say you are sorry to those you abused?
And will you do your very best to ensure that such a disgusting incident is never repeated?
…Over to you Boaby!”
The Absinthe Affairs O’ Atticus Oldman
28th February 2017