Following the recent sexual harassment allegations against Jake McElfresh (better known as Front Porch Step), the singer/songwriter has suspended 2015 touring plans “for the time being.”
McElfresh said in a statement, “As I posted 3 days ago, I am taking the appropriate time to assess these very serious allegations against me and I am not taking them lightly. Until I can do that in a complete manner with all the information I have at my disposal, I will not be continuing with any current touring activities for the time being.”
Have Mercy, who were set to support FPS on his headlining tour, released a statement of their own, saying they've been planning to disassociate from FPS for several days. “We, Have Mercy, in no way condone the alleged actions that have come to light over the past week, and hope that message above all is clear to our fans,” the band said. “Safety in music, and life, should never be risked for selfish decisions. We were incredibly excited at the opportunity to hit the road this spring, and that is still our top priority. “
Most of the accusations against FPS include sexually explicit text messages and nude photographs sent to (and received from) underage girls. One accuser, who says she was underage at the time, claims McElfresh had phone sex with her. Numerous young girls shared their stories in a collection of Tumblr posts.
Recently, singer/songwriter Allison Weiss announced that she would no longer be touring the U.K. with FPS. “Due to the recent allegations made against Jake McElfresh of Front Porch Step, I have decided I will not be touring with him this month in the U.K.,” Weiss wrote on Facebook.
At the height of the accusations, a Change.org petition was launched asking for Vans Warped Tour to remove Front Porch Step from the bill this summer. The petition has gone on to collect over 11,000 signatures.
Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman has since returned from his holiday vacation early to deal with the matter. “Please don't ask to have your band replace FPS if he is not on the [t]our,” he said in a tweet. “I am in no mood for it right now.”
McElfresh earlier addressed the allegations in a statement: “I am aware of the serious allegations and sensational things being posted on the internet about me and my personal life. While this is personally difficult to experience, I am taking the appropriate, meaningful, and objective steps to address the severity of these things and the horrendous words being used. I would truly hope that others who have or will propagate these serious allegations will do the same.”