Roisin Murphy: what did Irish singer-songwriter say, Transgender comments, apology and is she cancelled?

The Irish singer-songwriter told fans she ‘cannot apologise enough’

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Roisin Murphy has issued an apology for comments she made on social media about puberty blockers.

The 50-year-old Irish singer-songwriter, told fans she “cannot apologise enough”, stating that she was “stepping out of line” and “will now bow out of this conversation within the public domain”.

The comments which referenced “little mixed-up kids” using puberty blockers were discovered by her fans on Facebook. The medical treatment postpones puberty and is given to young transgender people.

The BBC have denied that it removed a scheduled programme of songs from the singer-songwriter which was due to air on BBC Radio 6. Reported by The Times, the show was compiled for a late night slot from Monday to Tuesday next week as part of the station’s Artist Collection series to promote the release of Murphy’s new album Hit Parade.

Here’s everything you need to know about Roisin Murphy’s comments about puberty blockers.

Roisin Murphy has apologised following comments she made about puberty blockers (Photo: Kate Green/Getty Images)Roisin Murphy has apologised following comments she made about puberty blockers (Photo: Kate Green/Getty Images)
Roisin Murphy has apologised following comments she made about puberty blockers (Photo: Kate Green/Getty Images)

Who is Roisin Murphy?

Murphy is a 50-year-old singer-songwriter from County Wicklow, Ireland. She began her career with producer Mark Brydon as the hit duo Moloko, with some of their most known hits including: The Time Is Now, a remix of Sing It Back and Familiar Feeling.

She embarked on a solo career and in 2015 was nominated for a Mercury Prize for Hairless Toys which features the songs Gone Fishing, Evil Eyes, and Unputdownable. Her critically-acclaimed fifth album Roisin Machine was released in October 2020 and her sixth album Hit Parade will drop on Friday 8 September.

What did she say about puberty blockers?

Murphy has received backlash after fans discovered screenshots on her personal Facebook of comments she had made online about the use of puberty blockers which are given as treatment to postpone puberty in young people who are transgender.

Her comments read: “please don’t call me a terf, please don’t keep using that word against women…Puberty blockers are f**ked, 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.”

Has she apologised?

Murphy took to X, formerly known as Twitter to explain her comments on 29 August after she was criticised by fans. She told them: “I cannot apologise enough”, stating that she was “stepping out of line” and “will now bow out of this conversation within the public domain”.

Her statement said: “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’ve had a personal Facebook account for many years. The morning I made these comments I was scrolling and I brought up a specific issue that was only broadly related to the original post. It was something that had been on my mind. I knew my friends were informed about the topic. I should’ve known too that I was stepping out of line.

“I’ve spent my whole life celebrating diversity and different views, but I never patronise or cynically aim my music directly at the pockets of any demographic. The music I make is the core of everything I do and it’s ever-evolving, freewheeling and unpredictable.

“For those of you that are leaving me, or have already left, I understand, I really do, but please know I have loved every one of you. I have always been so proud of my audience and understood the privilege of performing for you, all through the years.

“I am so sorry my comments have been directly hurtful to many of you. You must have felt a huge shock, blindsided by this so abruptly. I understand fixed views are not helpful but I really hope people can understand my concern was out of love for all of us.

“I will now 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. Though I completely understand that for others activism is their true calling, and is necessary and legitimate in a democracy.

“My true calling is music and music will never exclude any of us, I believe it will always be one of the greatest tools we can use to create a culture of tolerance. Thank you for taking the trouble to read this. I’m Gone Fishing. Sincerely, Roisin.”

Is Roisin Murphy cancelled?

Murphy has faced criticism after she gave an explanation for her comments, with one fan stating on Twitter that they were: “Beyond disappointed with this lacklustre response - & lack of a commitment to learn or grow.”

In the wake of the comments, two of her planned shows in London promoting her new album Hit Parade were cancelled, according to reports from Daily Beast. GCN has reported that her record label Ninja Tune has stopped promoting her upcoming album, and would “donate proceeds from the project to trans charities”. However Murphy has denied these reports.

Anti-trans groups have praised Murphy, with the hashtag #IStandWithRoisinMurphy trending on Twitter. Winston Marshall, former banjo player for Mumford and Sons leapt to her defence, stating she was “correct” and had “nothing to apologise for”.

In 2021, Marshall was caught up in a scandal after he praised controversial journalist Andy Ngo, who wrote the book, “Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan To Destroy Democracy”, calling him a “brave man”.

What have the BBC said?

The BBC have denied that they removed a scheduled BBC Radio 6 programme of Murphy’s songs over the puberty blocker comments. Reported by The Times, five hours of the singer’s songs, interviews and live performances were due to air on BBC Radio 6 next week, but have been replaced by content featuring the award-winning rapper Little Simz.

A BBC spokesperson explained the schedule was often subject to changes. They said: “The Artist Collections from our archive are regularly on rotation and frequently change,” adding: “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.”

What are puberty blockers?

Puberty blockers are a form of gender-affirming care that pauses the physical changes of puberty. Research studies from GLAAD have shown that access to the medication can lower rates of depression and significantly decrease the risk of suicide in trans people.

The Gender Identity Development Service advises that the treatment is physically reversible if stopped, and that if someone changes their mind, they can stop taking hormone blockers. However, little is known about the long-term effects.

Note: This article has been updated to make it clear that Winston Marshall wrote about Andy Ngo in 2021, not Muprhy