The Problem in PLUR

Illustrator: Morgan Wittmers Graves

Earlier this month, multiple women came forward with a number of sexual assault allegations against popular dubstep artist Datsik. They recount their experiences of him giving them drugs and alcohol, rendering them unable to consent, and proceeding to have sex with them. The series of allegations shocked many in the electronic dance music community. It would come as a shock indeed, as the electronic dance music scene is one that is known for promoting Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect (commonly shortened to “PLUR”, sometimes with an additional R for Responsibility). These women’s stories reveal an ugly truth behind many major music artists and the ways in which they abuse their fame status.

Datsik’s Twitter response to the allegations provides an unsettling look into the mind of a man who clearly has some growing to do: “Yo everyone … I am a vibe reader… It really breaks my heart when people feel upset at the end of the day because I am a good person and would never take advantage of anyone.” He denied any accusations of assault and emphasized that his actions had been “misinterpreted.” Unfortunately for Datsik, the standard definition of rape requires enthusiastic consent. If enthusiastic consent had been present, he would not have needed to provide his victims with blackout levels of alcohol and drugs.

An important takeaway from this is that people in positions of power have great capacity to abuse others, as well as to keep them quiet. Many women contributed to the Datsik conversation anonymously, fearful of the response that they might receive from his fans. It’s also important to note that Datsik’s actions didn’t occur without witnesses. Tour managers, crew members, and fellow music artists almost definitely knew of Datsik’s repeated predatory behavior, and it took a lot of people turning a blind eye for him to do the same thing to so many women. So, while the blame remains fully on Datsik, it’s apt to remember that a safe environment is a shared Responsibility.