In March 2021, Winston Marshall was the banjo player and guitarist for Mumford & Sons, the highly popular and award-winning folk rock ensemble.


That same month, Marshall shared a seemingly innocuous tweet offering praise for guerrilla journalist Andy Ngo, and his book “Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy.”


“Congratulations Andy Ngo. Finally had time to read your important book. You’re a brave man.”


As is the common story with Twitter, a firestorm ensued, with Marshall facing a swarm of criticism for the tweet, prompting Marshall, under pressure, to issue an apology. But Marshall later reconsidered the propriety of that apology, penning an essay on Medium defending his praise for Ngo and his book, and announcing he was leaving his band.


Since then Marshall has launched a podcast, Marshall Matters, and written for outlets such as Bari Weiss’s Common Sense, a precursor to her current The Free Press publication, on issues relating to freedom of speech and expression in the arts and beyond. Marshall also credits his Christianity for helping to sustain him through this incident and other rocky paths in his life.


Marshall also helps run Hong Kong Link-Up, which helps to connect Hong Kongers newly arriving in London with people who can help them get settled in a new country.


Today, Eric Kohn speak with Winston Marshall about the climate of free speech and free expression in music and the arts, his life and music, his support for the people of Hong Kong in their struggle for human freedom, and more.


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