Opinion: Yes, The New Front Porch Step Single Is Just As Bad As You Think
Just over a year ago, we saw Ohio-based singer/songwriter/whiny manbaby Jake McElfresh (Front Porch Step) being accused of sexual harassment by numerous young girls, who came forward with explicit stories via their personal Tumblr and Facebook accounts – as well as a number of accusers who chose to remain anonymous. The accusations against McElfresh eventually tallied up to have included sexually explicit text messages, nude photographs sent to and received from underage girls, and claims of McElfresh participating in phone sex.
To add fuel to the fire, a petition which reached over 11,000 signatures was launched targeting the Vans Warped Tour to remove Front Porch Step from the line-up. “We believe that Front Porch Step should not be allowed to play Vans Warped Tour and be given a national venue where he has access to the young girls who attend Warped Tour,” the petition argued. “We are asking Kevin Lyman and Vans Warped Tour to take Front Porch Step off the tour before something more than sending texts happens.”
It was clear McElfresh couldn’t catch a break, and with various media publications around the world covering his every move – both on and off the internet – his whole career was being monitored closely, often risking the reputation of his record label, Pure Noise Records, who has since dropped Front Porch Step from their roster.
Now, just over 12 months since the allegations, McElfresh has returned to the public eye with the release of his first single since the incident – “Help Me Hurt” – which he released via his Facebook page (no, we’re not linking it), making it his first post on social media in over a year.
It’s not surprising that McElfresh waited a whole year to release a new track, possibly hoping his prior douchebaggery was to be forgotten by his fanbase of impressionable youth. However, what is surprising is that in the process of releasing his God-invoking lyrical message – that questions why texting underage women in a sexually provocative way is considered as frowned upon as touching them – McElfresh has
unknowingly put his victims in the firing line of even more harassment, despite previously apologising for the same thing in a not-so-heartfelt statement over a year ago.
If all this wasn’t enough – forget expressing your opinions through the Front Porch Step social media accounts, because there’s a large chance your comment will be removed, just like majority of other negative or criticising comments made throughout the last 48 hours. Despite the disgusting lack of consequences for the incident, McElfresh still continues to make music under the mentality that his fans will eventually forgive him and accept him as an improved being, or whatever the fuck. In saying that, McElfresh acknowledged the fact that the incident will stay with his victims for the rest of their lives, although still proudly releases a single that publicly undermines them.
So what do we do now? Do we allow McElfresh to make another PR move to avoid making a real public apology, and expressing himself as another “changed” musician trying to run from their past actions and make a couple bucks? Or do we as an industry take a stand, and make it known that being an emotionally manipulative sexual predator will forfeit the right to a career that’s supposedly fuelled by passion?
Oh, and Jake…