Boy band Why Don’t We is detailing the alleged abuse they have undergone at the hands of their managers.
The group, best known for working with Smashing Pumpkins and Kanye West, has asked the California Labor Commission to allow them out of their contract with manager David Loeffler. They also want the management company Signature Entertainment to pay back what they have received the past year, stating the violation of the Talent Agencies Act, reports Billboard.
It comes weeks after one of their managers, Randy Phillips, sued to remove Loeffler from the management team.
On Instagram, the five members, Daniel Seavey, Jonas Marais, Corbyn Besson, Jack Avery and Zach Herron, all between 15 to 18 years old when the group was formed, spoke out about the “mental, emotional, and financial abuse” from their managers.
The boys said they had to live and work together at the “Why Don’t We Compound” where an alarm would go off when they left.
“Little did we know that we would eventually become prisoners,” the boys wrote. “He [Loeffler] would not only live with us during the day, but controlled us 24/7, setting an alarm that would go off if any door or window was opened.”
“Food was restricted to the point that some band members developed eating disorders,” they continued, revealing they would “sneak food in and hide it in our dresser.”
Why Don’t We said that they were made to believe this was “normal” and that “every artist had to pay their dues.”
But the band says they will “no longer be silenced” and hope to be “finally closing the chapter on this traumatic stage in our lives.”
After Phillips’ filing, his attorney told Billboard, “Loeffler was living with [the band] at a rental property that had been secured for them to develop music,” and that he took part in “nightmarish behaviour,” including ” daily verbal abuse, screaming at them at the top of his lungs, sometimes for 10-20 minutes,” and allegedly “forced the five members to share two small bedrooms, even though the house had a spare, unused bedroom that was upstairs.”
Why Don’t We’s attorney also told the publication that they support Phillips in “the same way he has supported us from the start of our careers.”