The members of Why Don't We are accusing their management team of "mental, emotional and financial abuse."
On Thursday, Jack Avery, Corbyn Besson, Zach Herron, Jonah Marais and Daniel Seavey issued a statement amid to the ongoing legal battle between current manager, David Loeffler, and former manager, Randy Phillips. Billboard also reports that the boy band is currently petitioning the California Labor Commission to terminate their contract with Loeffler.
In their statement, the band explained that they were initially hesitant to comment on the matter "as we have been so conditioned to do." However, after "[maturing] to the point where we now realize that suffering in silence is no longer an option," they were ready to speak out about the alleged exploitation they suffered at the hands of their management.
According to the Why Don't We's note, they were made to believe the highly restrictive lifestyle implemented by their managers was an industry norm, though they later came to realize that their youth and inexperience — members were 15- to 18-years-old at the time of the group's formation — was being taken advantage of. They then went on to allege that they were placed under constant supervision, subject to verbal abuse and developed eating disorders thanks to a controlled diet.
"We were initially excited to be all living together in the same house, working together on on what we loved most, our music, little did we know we would eventually become prisoners in the 'Why Don't We compound' under the supervision of one of our managers at Signature Entertainment Partners," they said. "He would not only live with us throughout the day, but controlled us 24/7, setting an alarm that would go off if any door or window was opened."
Why Don't We also mentioned that they were also "alienated" from support systems like family and friends, and only had each other to rely on due to their management's "need for extreme domination," even at the expense of their wellbeing.
"This is now playing out on the public stage in a continued attempt to weaponize our love for our music and our fans," the band continued. "We will no longer be silenced and we look forward to finally closing the chapter on this traumatic stage in our lives."
Neither Loeffler nor Phillips have responded to the statement. In the meantime, you can read what Why Don't We has to say, below.