Cherry Lipstick has just completed a survey on Duran fans’ responses to the Simon le Bon allegation off 11 July 2018.
Over 130 of you took part. Here are the main findings of this survey.
The first main finding (starting at the end from Q10) was this: 71% of you thought that it was appropriate to be considering these issues one month after the event. Only 29% considered that the matter should be dropped. This was a subject people wanted to read and talk about.
So many of you wrote thoughtful and reflective comments that it is a shame they cannot all be included here. You will find here a range of comments and thoughts which means you may find some things with which you agree, and others that you don’t. Overall, however, I hope you find the answers to be considered and reflective on the subject that is both deeply personal and highly political. The percentages indicate how widely prevalent the views are held.
There is a question as to whether the people who were curious about this topic chose to answer it, while those who were more strident avoided it. This is not possible to know. However, this survey was publicised beyond those who ordinarily read Cherry Lipstick so it was not a completely self-selecting cohort.
The responses were as follows:
Q1: The majority of respondents (61%) use social media every day. Only 16% of respondents used it once a month meaning those answering the questions were the right sample group.
Q2: Which of the following have you done in response to the allegation against Simon? (multiple picks were allowed).
Top answer (38%): “I wanted to stop talking about it so I can focus on the music and following the band.” The second most picked answer (16%) was “I engaged less with the fan community.”
14% of you tweeted #IStandWithSimon, the same amount that said they “felt like not being a fan for a while.” You may consider this is a significant minority, or not very many.
Of the rarely answered options, two of the respondents contacted Shareen directly, one person said they threw records away, and two said they were worried the value of their Duran collection would go down.
“Honestly, I felt ill. The fans fighting between themselves was horrible. I didn't want anything to do with that aspect of it.”
“I worried that "it" would somehow bring an end to the band.”
“There’s an element to this fan community that’s really immature...even in our 40s and it’s scary. Quit acting like it’s Jr. High school all over again.”
“I spent some time thinking about it. Made some decisions. Moved on.”
“While sexual assault hasn’t changed, how society reacts to it is far different nowadays. All I know is that I wasn’t there personally to know what happened, and I won’t judge either party - only they know the truth.”
Q3: Which of the following statements do you agree with?
The most popular choices were that the allegations were irrelevant to the music (49%) and people didn’t like the bad publicity for the band (47%).
18% of you considered “It wasn’t a big deal whether true or false - such were the times / environment.”
Only 14% agreed that “I kept quiet as I didn’t want to lose online friends by making my feelings known or engage in conflict”.
Q4: Overall, do you think the online community in the last month has been affected:
No change: 46%
“I think it has created a great division because people who tried to discuss it were told
(basically) to shut up so everything would go away. I don’t think that was productive, especially to reinforce to women that you will be ridiculed if you speak up.”
“I would like to think it didn’t have a negative effect on the community. I didn’t like people going after the girl who made the claims...THAT can make any fan community look bad. Attacking anyone who’s making a claim like that can only make yourself look bad. Crazy times we’re in...”
“Still a little bit of lingering sting. The band-aid hasn't come off yet.”
“SUCH a great question! I really don’t know. The conversations have been great for the most part...it got us talking!”
“It’s been affected by allowing these stupid surveys...”
Q5: How do you consider the official response was acknowledged and addressed by SLB and DDHQ management via social media?
This produced a positive response for the band’s management of the situation, only 11% considering it “heated and personal,” while 57% thought they managed it politely and professionally. The rest of you thought they had “correctly moved on quickly.”
Q6: Has the allegation affected how you feel about the #MeToo movement?
“It is very wrong that an allegation can be made via social media without one shred of evidence to support her claims”
“I will always support the #MeToo movement. Solidarity with survivors of sexual assault is more important than any fandom.”
“Memories can seem so real, even when they aren't. Maybe it's a coping device, it's so hard to know. Every woman I talked to had a ‘me too’ story. I wish I could say that surprised me. It doesn't.”
Q7: If the allegations were somehow able to be proven (photos, videos etc that surface) would it affect how you feel towards Simon / the band?
“Not because of the actual allegation. The lying would be where I have a problem, and the way the woman is being treated by the fan community.”
“I would lose more respect for DD for lying & the cover-up than the incident. If you’re wrong, admit it and apologize, don’t go on the offensive.”
“I would lose some respect for the man. But times have changed, it was a different time and Simon has changed as well (grown up).”
“I have never thought they were necessarily good people.”
“I never have idolized Duran as people, unlike some. Frankly, as a practising Catholic, I have had to distance myself from the band emotionally, due to a lyric or public comment (e.g. Simon’s agnosticism, and then the band capitalizing on a Christian holiday by selling Christmas ornaments). So for me it has long been about the music. I don’t agree with their politics either. So the allegations don’t burst any bubbles for me.”
Q8: Which of the following statements by Jo Wood in support of Simon do you agree with?
People who make allegations are trying to trap men: 8%
It’s flattering for a woman to be given a wolf whistle or have his arm around you. 2%
How can a man like Simon, who sees so many women who will flaunt themselves and push themselves on him, remember an incident like that? 22%
None of them: 74%
Q9: Thinking about other celebrities that have been accused in the past, have you avoided their records / films etc (e.g. Kevin Spacey, Michael Jackson)?
“It depends on if I liked them in the first place or not.”
“If proven to be true but most are shown to be lies and fantasies.”
“If subsequently found guilty, then 'yes' for more serious crimes (e.g. Ian Watkins / Lost Prophets). No change for less serious allegations.”
It is now one month after the allegation and there is very little, if any, discussion about it on social media. This survey finds people with a lot to say and many passionate emotions still around. We have had to be confronted with debate and positions that have moved beyond our favourite song or album. Hopefully this survey has given a voice and outlet for some of those thoughts and feelings. It is a snapshot of where we are at as a community and within ourselves as fans having had to confront a painful subject about what should be a personal pleasure.
It had not felt right to carry on with Cherry Lipstick as if nothing happened - as if it were ‘business as usual’. Cherry Lipstick can now continue as a place to celebrate the band and our history as fans.
With that in mind, we look forward to you reading our next article as we appropriately publish our latest personal account from a fan about how Duran Duran has soundtracked a life and been an inspiration. That seems like a suitable way to relaunch the fanzine – I hope you will continue to enjoy and support Cherry Lipstick.