The BBC has denied that the removal of five hours of music, interviews, and concert highlights showcasing Irish singer Roisin Murphy was motivated in response to comments the singer recently made about puberty blockers.
Murphy was due to feature as part of 6 Music on Artists Collection next week but has since been replaced by another artist.
Comments the 50 year old former Moloko front woman made on Facebook last month drew sharp criticism and resulted in a calls to have the singer ‘cancelled’ after she said that “puberty blockers are f***ng, absolutely desolate”, adding: “Big pharma laughing all the way to the bank.”
The singer added, “please don’t call me a terf [trans-exclusionary radical feminist], please don’t keep using that word against women,”
Although Murphy later issued an apology via Twitter/X expressing regret over the “eruption of damaging and potentially dangerous social media fire and brimstone” her statements had triggered, questions have been raised as to whether the pulling of her showcase is a result of the comments.
Journalist and Spectator editor Andrew Neill asked the BBC to clarify if the replacement of Murphy was indeed due to the controversy saying, “Can BBC Verify or the @bbcpress verify or deny that singer Roisin Murphy has been cancelled by the BBC after criticising puberty blockers?”
Can BBC Verify or the @bbcpress verify or deny that singer Roisin Murphy has been cancelled by the BBC after criticising puberty blockers?
Five hours of Ms Murphy's songs, interviews and highlights of her concerts were put together for a programme called the 6 Music Artist…
— Andrew Neil (@afneil) September 13, 2023
“Five hours of Ms Murphy’s songs, interviews and highlights of her concerts were put together for a programme called the 6 Music Artist Collection”
Neill continued, “This now appears to have been pulled. Also reports that old radio programmes she was in have been removed from BBC Sounds. True? Meanwhile Ms Murphy is making abject apologies for her apostasy in questioning puberty blockers. She will quickly find out that no matter how grovelling the apology, the extremists she has offended can never be assuaged.”
The program featuring Murphy had been scheduled to air from midnight on the 18th of September although the slot has now been updated to feature the work of rapper Little Simz.
The BBC has insisted that the change in programming was not related to the puberty blockers controversy saying, “The Artist Collections from our archive are regularly on rotation and frequently change to reflect station-wide initiatives as they get confirmed.
“Little Simz was scheduled to reflect 6 Music’s Way With Words programming, which celebrates poetry, rap and spoken word, and airs the following week, tying in with National Poetry Day.
“There was no other reason for the change. Roisin Murphy has been played on 6 Music recently and her Artist Collection remains in rotation.”
It was reported that two launch gigs which were due to take place at Rough Trade East in London were cancelled with the Financial Times saying that Murphy’s record label Ninja Tune has ceased promotional activities for the album.
Despite the controversy Murphy’s latest album Hit Parade has earned the singer glowing reviews from critics. See Niamh Uí Bhriain’s comments here.