Winston Marshall, the former Mumford & Sons banjoist and guitarist, says he “lost a lot of friends” and was “condemned” by other artists following his controversial 2021 tweets that led to his exit from the popular rock band.
In a new interview with the Sunday magazineMarshall, 34, said he “was canceled.”
“I’ve met a few other people who have been canceled, whatever that means, and they talk about a few years later, people who were part of the mobbing get in touch and say, ‘Hey man, are you there?’ They helped destroy your life, but it was done so casually that they don’t even remember it,” Marshall explained. “I was surprised at how other artists sentenced. I lost a lot of friends.”
Marshall left the group in June 2021, citing a “difficult decision first prompted by an unintended Twitter storm”. That storm began in March, when Marshall praised controversial conservative journalist Andy Ngo for his new book on far-left anti-fascism. movement known as antifa. At the time, the musician shared a photo from Ngo’s book, Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s radical plan to destroy democracy, which features an endorsement from TSWT News host Tucker Carlson.
“Congratulations @MrAndyNgo,” Marshall said in his Tweeter, which he later deleted. “I finally had time to read your important book. You are a brave man.
Following her tweet, Marshall and the rest of the band faced backlash. Although he quickly issued an apology, the damage was done. He says he struggled to sleep and lose weight amid the fallout, and returned to practicing Christianity. In the end, he soon came to rethink his decision to apologize.
“Your first reaction is ‘I’m so sorry I offended you,’” Marshall told the Sunday magazine. “I apologized because I felt like maybe I didn’t fully understand this topic, and I need to understand it.”
“As I continued my research, I felt more and more that I had participated in a lie,” he added. “It really affected my conscience. … Those few months between apologizing and resigning were psychologically very traumatic.
His bandmates were also upset that they were dragged into controversy over their friend’s tweets.
“They were dragged under the bus with me; it was a horrible experience for them,” he shared.
Eventually, Marshall realized he would have to choose the band or his new beliefs. Despite rumors that he was fired from the band, Marshall maintains that he “came out” on his own.
Marshall also revealed that he had been sober for three years. He and actress Dianna Agron divorced in 2020 after four years of marriage, during which time he said he “came back to Christ”.
“I don’t miss fame, I don’t think it was real,” he said. “I was seduced by it. I was drawn into it. Particularly through this recent experience, I realized that many of my friends in this world were not my true friends.
Freed from the restraints of the band, Marshall said he “found his soul back”.
“I felt I could sleep again, it’s amazing the effect it had on me. It was completely liberating, he said. I feel like it was the good choice.”
He chose to make censorship his main focus, writing an op-ed titled “When Artists Become Censors” for writer Bari Weiss’ Substack.
“Obviously, artists have the right to boycott. The difference now is that it’s “shut him up or I’m leaving,” he explained. “It’s so weird and I don’t think it ends well. Musicians’ careers are all about self-expression, so how can they think it’s going to work if they’re not ready for the people express themselves?
Despite his new venture as a blogger, Marshall admitted that leaving the group he once loved was “incredibly difficult”.
“I imagined being in my 60s and still playing with the band,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons why it was so difficult to leave. I thought we would always be together.