Jensen and the Flips dropped from gig lineup after sexual harassment claims

MANILA, Philippines (5th UPDATE) – Jensen and the Flips has been removed from the lineup of year-end gig "The Rest Is Noise," following claims of sexually inappropriate behavior from several women.

“In light of several deeply disturbing allegations, one of which was confirmed by the accused band member, we’ve decided to withdraw our invitation to Jensen and the Flips to perform in our year-end show,” The Rest Is Noise said in a statement.

 

“We are reaffirming our position: we do not and will not condone, tolerate, or enable any vile or reprehensible behavior that exploits and abuses women,” they added.

Jensen and the Flips has been at the center of several claims of sexually inappropriate behavior.

In screenshots sent to Adrienne Onday (Twitter user @_tapsilog), a woman who wishes to remain anonymous said that when she shared a cab with Jensen and the Flips guitarist Sam Valenia, he tried to force himself on her and tried to kiss her even if she was already pushing him away.

The woman also sent a screenshot of a text where Valenia asked her if she wanted to sext, as if nothing happened.

Valenia admitted to the behavior and apologized, saying “I’m really sorry sa mga taong na-offend ko at na-disappoint sa akin (to the people I've offended and disappointed) because of this post and because of what I did. I respect y’all’s opinions. I know this ain’t enough but again, I am really sorry.”

Yup. Ako to. I am really sorry sa mga taong na-offend ko at na-disappoint sa akin because of this post and because of what I did. I respect yall's opinions. I know this ain't enough but again, I am really sorry. https://t.co/ijfPbZAhsc — sarcasam (@SamuelValenia) November 21, 2017

 

The band has also been accused of sending suggestive texts, attempting to suddenly kiss a woman on the lips, and hitting on minors.

The allegations, published by Onday on her Twitter, are left anonymous and sent to her by direct message, in response to a thread she started about misogyny and predatory behavior in the local indie music scene.

In the thread, Onday herself shared her own experience of vocalist Jensen Gomez texting her inappropriate emojis, and other bands making lewd comments about women.

Isang experience ko pang naalala: dati, December of 2014 yata ito? Basta 17 pa ako nito. Nag-reply ako dati sa tweet ni Jensen tapos ang reply niya sa akin for some reason ay “”. Uncalled for yung response at sobrang sketchy. Is it considered a sexual comment? Possibly. — MARCOS HITLER DIKTADOR TUTA MARCOS HITLER DIKTADOR (@_tapsilog) November 21, 2017

AYUN. Hi Jensen, kung makikita mo man ‘to. That’s gross. You’re gross. pic.twitter.com/WwflXWFNVD — MARCOS HITLER DIKTADOR TUTA MARCOS HITLER DIKTADOR (@_tapsilog) November 21, 2017

 

Other bands, namely Sud and MilesExperience (Msex), were called out for misogynistic and inappropriate behavior too, as more people sent their experiences to Onday.

Nung UP Fair 2015 or 2016, tumugtog yung Inday Bote yata yun. Nasa backstage ako kasama ng ibang friends from Msex. Si Justin nanood kasi malaki raw yung boobs nung bokalista. I laughed then para maki-ride, but my feet grow cold just thinking about it now. — MARCOS HITLER DIKTADOR TUTA MARCOS HITLER DIKTADOR (@_tapsilog) November 21, 2017

Dagdag: Hi Sud. pic.twitter.com/UxGOGogxWv — MARCOS HITLER DIKTADOR TUTA MARCOS HITLER DIKTADOR (@_tapsilog) November 21, 2017

Hello ulit kay Sud???? pic.twitter.com/b2l78YDbHc — MARCOS HITLER DIKTADOR TUTA MARCOS HITLER DIKTADOR (@_tapsilog) November 21, 2017

 

According to its official Facebook page, The Rest is Noise is a bi-monthly gig organized by media group Vandals on the Wall. 

In October, The Rest is Noise also dropped producer Poor Taste (Paulo Tiongson), from their year-end show.

In a comment on The Rest is Noise’s post, Tiongson claims that the issue has been dealt with in private.

“We saw that the incident in question was a misunderstanding, that occurred due to my lack of awareness of what was appropriate at the time. With that said, I'm truly sorry, it wasn't alright, and I've apologized in private and in public since,” Tiongson said in the comment.

“Whilst I am definitively, an idiot, and was speaking inappropriately, we agreed between ourselves that the term sexual misconduct was too damaging and all involved parties kindly asked if this could be taken down, as we sorted things between ourselves and thought this statement was a harsh portrayal of events,” he said. “But at the end of the day... this is your event, your social media, and your right to speak. I won't complain, and I'll take it, and I do respect it.”

Sud dropped from UP Fair 2018

Sud was also removed from the lineup of the 2018 University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Fair, following the allegations.

On Twitter, Vince Liban, head of the university’s LGBTQ+ student organization UP Babaylan, said “I bet there are better momol songs from bands who don’t harass women,” sharing a screenshot of a text supposedly sent to Sud representatives.

“My team has alerted me of sexual harrassment allegations of the band’s members on Twitter. As an org who values and advocates for women and their rights, we cannot tolerate these kinds of behavior,” the text read.

I bet there are better momol songs from bands who don’t harass women. I guess we’ll be needing recommendations mga kumare. pic.twitter.com/QLVrItoBaq — Punong Babaylan (@vinceliban) November 22, 2017

Community's reactions

Other artists who are part of the lineup of The Rest is Noise have chimed in on the matter.

Aia de Leon, replying to a tweet by former Paramita drummer and vocalist Ria Bautista, said “dapat switch nalang sila sa music nating mga girls. Hehe music din naman to enjoy, wala lang sexual harassment (they should just switch to music by us girls. It’s also music to enjoy, just without sexual harassment).”

Dapat switch nalang sila sa music nating mga girls. Hehe music din naman to enjoy, wala lang sexual harrassment *just an off- the- course answer — Aia de Leon (@AiadeLeon) November 22, 2017

Bautista had earlier retweeted the original Twitter thread by Onday, saying, “As a fellow artist/musician, this is fckn shameful and humiliating.”

Part of me says I shouldn’t get involved but collective apathy allows this type of behaviour to proliferate. Time to take action and BE INVOLVED because this is an industry we love and we are all part it As a fellow artist/musician, this is fckn shameful and humiliating. https://t.co/g9xwu8RDvR — Ria Bautista (@riabautista_) November 22, 2017

Meanwhile, Autotelic keyboardist and vocalist Kai Honasan said, “I hope all these discussions find their way back to highlighting actual victims of sexual assault.”

I hope all these discussions find their way back to highlighting actual victims of sexual assault. You are brave in sharing your story and while you can't erase your past, I hope you find comfort in knowing you aren't alone. — Kai Hosanna (@kaihonasan) November 22, 2017

“You are brave in sharing your story and while you can’t erase your past I hope you find comfort in knowing you aren’t alone,” she tweeted.

She also warned people to avoid gossip.

“Everything is so complicated and upsetting. You hope it’s never someone you know, both victim and predator but that’s the reality. Please don’t use this to expose gossip. Always bring it back to the issue and what we can do as a community to make it safe. Productive conversations.”

Everything is so complicated and upsetting. You hope its never someone you know, both victim and predator but that's the reality. Pls don't use this to expose gossip. Always bring it back to the issue and what we can do as a community to make it safer. Productive conversations. — Kai Hosanna (@kaihonasan) November 22, 2017

Band responds

Rappler has reached out to Jensen and the Flips, Sud, and MilesExperience for comment. The latter two said they will be releasing a statement soon.

Ang Bandang Shirley, who was also mentioned in Onday’s Twitter thread, released a statement on their Facebook page.

“With the information we have so far, it is difficult for the band to address the allegations properly, and we are currently having a conversation on the issue to discuss further action. We recognize this is a serious issue and apologize for allowing a toxic culture continue through complicity or inaction."

“Although this is a difficult time for everyone involved, we believe that this is a necessary step in correcting the normalized wrongs and maybe start getting things right. We support all the victims that have come forward and recognize the courage that it took for them to talk about their experiences.”

Ang Bandang Shirley was mentioned in the thread, with Onday tweeting “Hi gusto ko lang malaman ninyo na ayoko na rin makinig sa Shirley (I just want you to know that I no longer want to listen to Shirley).”

Hi gusto ko lang malaman ninyo na ayoko na rin makinig sa Shirley. https://t.co/HDMAcrRVO8 — MARCOS HITLER DIKTADOR TUTA MARCOS HITLER DIKTADOR (@_tapsilog) November 22, 2017

She said, however, that she couldn’t give further details on the matter due to “confidentiality,” but claims that the band is not as perfect as people think.

Di pwede ikwento kasi confidentiality but I’ll leave it at hindi sila kasing perfect ng iniisip natin. — MARCOS HITLER DIKTADOR TUTA MARCOS HITLER DIKTADOR (@_tapsilog) November 22, 2017

 – Rappler.com