On Wednesday night (August 30), the Toronto Star reported, based on information from a source close to Ninja Tune, that the English independent record label would end its public relations campaign for Róisín Murphy’s forthcoming album, Hit Parade. Internal communications reviewed by The FADER seem to confirm the label’s decision to release the record on schedule next Friday without promotion.
The news came a week after a screenshot of a transphobic Facebook comment by Murphy was shared on Twitter, causing backlash against the Irish pop artist in the LGBTQ community and beyond. This Tuesday, six days after the post became public, Murphy issued a statement apologizing “for being the reason for this eruption of damaging and potentially dangerous social-media fire and brimstone,” but not addressing her specific contention that puberty blockers — medications prescribed to delay a child’s pubescent development if their gender identity does not match their sex — are “fucked [and] absolutely desolate.”
The Star’s source, a publicist who works with Ninja Tune, also spoke to The FADER, confirming that the information came from internal communications that he’d believed he was authorized to share publicly at the time. “The official line right now is that [Ninja Tune] are taking actions at the label,” he told The FADER. “They’re getting their ducks in a row, and they will be announcing their next steps.” He later clarified that the company was “still figuring out a way to publicly address this in a way that will not leave them legally exposed.”
The publicist expressed ambivalence about the label’s reaction to the controversy. “I am optimistic that actions are being taken and that we will see a definitive move any moment. But at the same time, I mean, it’s been seven, eight days now, and there’s been [journalists] asking for comment this whole time and rightfully so,” he added. “ It’s my intention to continue working with [Ninja Tune]. But… I think that this is gonna be a defining moment for all of us.”
Representatives of Ninja Tune did not immediately return The FADER’s request for comment. Murphy’s assistant declined to comment when reached by The FADER.