26 April 2023

JK Rowling accuses Irish Eurovision act of ‘misogyny’ amid transgender dispute

26 April 2023

JK Rowling has accused Ireland’s Eurovision act of “preening, self-satisfied misogyny” after they cut ties with their creative director over comments he reportedly made on social media about transgender people.

On Tuesday, Wild Youth said they were parting ways with Ian Banham and would no longer let him “near our team” after a screenshot circulated on Twitter appearing to be from his account.

Frontman Conor O’Donohoe later said reading the tweet had made him “feel sick”.

The post referred to an article about Zara Jade, a trangender woman who stabbed her partner before tying her up and leaving with her bank card, which featured a headline referring to Jade as a “woman”.

According to his website, Mr Banham has worked with artists such as Lily Allen, Kylie Minogue and Cheryl and on TV series including Dancing On Ice and Strictly Come Dancing.

On Wednesday, Rowling posted a defence of the creative director alongside the hashtag #IStandWithIanBanham.

She said: “The re-traumatisation of female rape survivors, including this man’s victims, on seeing him called a woman by the press counts for nothing, naturally.

“The so-called kindness and inclusivity of @bandwildyouth is preening, self-satisfied misogyny.

“For those confused as to why Ian Banham was fired and publicly lambasted by @bandwildyouth, here’s one of his ‘horrifying’ tweets.

“His crime is standing against the insanity of pretending knife-wielding rapists are women if they say they are.”

In March, Jade was jailed for nine years with an additional three years on licence after pleading guilty to six offences including false imprisonment, assault and robbery, to serve the time in a male prison.

Dublin band Wild Youth will perform their song We Are One at the Liverpool Arena during the first semi-final stage, in a bid to make the grand final.

Irish broadcaster RTE previously told BBC News: “Ian Banham is no longer a member of Ireland’s Eurovision 2023 team.

“RTE won’t be making any further comment”.

The broadcaster and band have been contacted for further comment.

Rowling has regularly spoken out on the issue of gender identity and has strongly denied accusations of transphobia.

She previously explained she was partly motivated to speak out because of her experience of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

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