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The Neighbourhood Fires Drummer For Inappropriate Behaviour

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at DCU chapter.

TW This article includes discussion about sexual harassment and assault

If you’re anything like me then you’ve been busy entering Sweater Weather era over the last couple of weeks. Each year, we expect The Neighbourhood’s notorious song to make a comeback just in time for the cosy Autumn/Winter seasons. However, what we didn’t expect from the band this year are the many controversies that its members have gotten themselves into in the last couple of weeks. From Jesse Rutherford’s controversial age-gap relationship with Billie Eilish to Brandon Fried being fired for inappropriate behaviour, The Neighbourhood members are in deep waters this season, to say the least.

On November 13th, the lead singer of The Marias, Maria Zardoya accused drummer Brandon Fried of groping her. In an Instagram story, she shared,

I was at a bar last night, and I was groped under the table by brandon fried, the drummer of the neighbourhood. It was one of the most uncomfortable things i’ve ever experienced. i felt an invasion of my space, privacy and body. y’all need a new drummer, this guy is a complete creep.

Following the shocking accusation, the band then shared their decision to fire Fried on Twitter stating,

We are grateful to Maria for coming forward. We have zero tolerance for any kind of inappropriate behaviour towards women. As a result of Brandon’s actions, he will no longer be a member of The Neighbourhood.

Fried did not deny the accusations and went on to apologise for his inappropriate actions towards Maria, blaming the incident on his substance use. 

I am so terribly sorry to Maria. My actions were inexcusable and intolerable. They are not reflective of who I am as a person, but clearly a reflection of who I become under the influence. It is evident that I must address my problems with alcohol and substance abuse, which I am now seeking help for. 

He then goes on to apologise to victims of sexual harassment, assault, etc and also to the band and its fans. Maria’s public accusation prompted others to speak out regarding the bandmate’s inappropriate behaviour. Sofi Padilla spoke out about Fried, 

With [Zardoya] saying something I felt like I needed to too. 

She goes on to accuse Fried of sexually assaulting her in May 2022, directly addressing him, 

You definitely crossed the line and it was pretty disappointing. To be honest, what happened with Brandon is something I think about almost daily. You feel like you’re totally in control until someone makes you feel powerless.

We are glad that both Maria and Sofi have taken the courage to call for the accountability of Fried. His actions have been intolerable and it goes without saying that both women did not deserve to be violated by Fried in that way. His substance use is most definitely not an excuse for how he made these women feel. This, along with many other sexual assault incidents seen within the music industry this last year has left fans outraged and victims hurt. It is well-known that the music industry is rife with perpetrators of sexual assault. Evidently, the industry has a glaring problem with male musicians, producers, executives, etc, taking advantage of women at an alarming rate. Men in the industry are known to use their power over female musicians, fans and workers to violate them. The Musicians’ Union report that around 85% of victims do not tell anyone due to the fear of judgement and losing their job. Therefore, it is important that women in the music industry are supported, and given the opportunity to seek any means of justice that they wish, whether that be through social media or the legal system. 

We hope that Maria, Sofi and any victim of sexual harassment and assault at the hands of men within the music industry are met with support and encouragement when they do decide to speak out. It is time that the industry recognises its widespread misogyny and works to fight against it.

20 year old law student. HerCampus DCU Editor in Chief