Irish Eurovision entry fires creative director over trans remarks as JK Rowling weighs in


Ireland’s Eurovision entry has cut ties with their creative director after he made comments on social media about a transgender criminal.

Indie rock band Wild Youth said its members stand for “unity and kindness” and confirmed they had cut ties with creative director Ian Banham on Thursday.

The group said in a tweet: “Wild Youth is a band that stands for unity and kindness. Our song represents our beliefs as a band.

“We have cut all ties with Ian Banham and will not have him on or near our team or Eurovison [sic] journey. We are so sorry for anyone offended by his comments.”

It comes after screenshots of Mr Banham’s Twitter account emerged on the platform, where he appeared to refer to a transgender woman as a man.

Zara Jade was convicted of murder at Bradford Crown Court last month, after stabbing her former partner with a knife and tying them to a chair while she stole cash from their bank account.

The tweet by Mr Banham criticised a news article for referring to her as a woman, adding “this clown world is ridiculous”.

Wild Youth’s frontman Conor O’Donohoe also weighed in, saying he “felt sick” reading the tweets and apologised to those hurt by those remarks.

The group have now been accused of “misogyny” by JK Rowling for their handling of the situation.

The world-famous author has attracted criticism over recent years for her views on gender identity, often citing her experience of domestic abuse and sexual assault as the reason she speaks about transgender issues.

Responding to the situation regarding Ian Banham, she tweeted: “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 [Wild Youth] is preening, self-satisfied misogyny.”

As per his website, Mr Banham has previously worked with Kylie Minogue, Cheryl Cole, Lily Allen, Nathan Carter and Westlife.

He was also the choreographer for the most recent series of Ireland’s version of Dancing With The Stars, which concluded in March.

Wild Youth are now preparing to compete in the semi-final of Eurovision 2023 on May 9, with their song We Are One.

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