The Telegraph is reporting that the BBC has removed Irish singer Róisín Murphy from a prepared feature radio broadcast. The reason is a comment opposing puberty-blocking drugs. While I understand why such criticism is deeply hurtful to some, it is also political speech. Artists should be able to hold opposing views. I would feel the same way if BBC blocked an artist for supporting puberty-blocking drugs. However, these controversies evidence an orthodoxy that seems to only run against those on one side in this and other issues.
Murphy’s comment on social media was reportedly leaked by a friend last month. In the posting, she wrote “Puberty blockers are f—ing, absolutely desolate, big pharma laughing all the way to the bank. Little mixed-up kids are vulnerable and need to be protected, that’s just true.”
She added: “Please don’t call me a TERF, please don’t keep using that word against women.”
We have seen cancel campaigns launched against figures like J.K. Rowling as TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists) for criticizing transgender policies.
The same inexorable pattern emerged for Murphy. They have targeted her new album for boycotts simply because they disagree on the issue. The Guardian declared that the album was now “compromised” and “for many fans, particularly queer fans, this album is DOA [dead on arrival].”
BBC insists that the cancellation was due to other factors, but many have their doubts. What is clear is that a full boycott campaign is now being launched despite Murphy offering a full-throated apology for uttering opposing views:
“I have been thrown into a very public discourse in an arena I’m uncomfortable in and deeply unsuitable for. I cannot apologise enough for being the reason for this eruption of damaging and potentially dangerous social-media fire and brimstone. To witness the ramifications of my actions and the divisions it has caused is heartbreaking.
I will now completely bow out of this conversation within the public domain. I’m not in the slightest bit interested in turning it into ANY kind of ‘campaign’, because campaigning is not what I do… My true calling is music and music will never exclude any of us.”
What is alarming is that artists must now repeat approved positions on political and social issues or, as here, pledge to remain silent in order to be artists.
So Murphy is the latest wretch to be hoisted by the left. The message is clear: support approved viewpoints or you will be blacklisted as an artist. Few on the left are voicing concerns over intolerance for opposing views and the denial of venues or publications for those artists who do not yield to the demands of the majority.
Despite her pleading apology, the cancel campaign has continued unabated. It appears that Murphy’s top song, Overpowered, aptly describes her artistic situation: “When I think that I’m over you, I’m overpowered.”