Sinead O’Connor has a hit on BBC Woman’s Hour after being subjected to an ‘offensive and misogynistic’ interview on the show on Tuesday morning.
The Irish singer, 54, promoted her memoir Rememberings when she struck up the stilted conversation with host Emma Barnett, 36, who said she was “a crazy lady,” while Sinead also controversially compared herself to a Jamaican man.
Hours after the interview aired, Sinead took to Twitter and reprimanded Emma and the show for several “insulting” comments and also apologized for “accidentally offending Jamaican men” when she shared that she had different fathers to her four children.
During the discussion, Emma spoke of how The Telegraph’s music critic Neil McCormick, 60, had branded Sinead as “the mad lady in the doll’s attic” – a reference the singer later described as “insulting and invalid”.
Speaking: Sinead O’Connor has a hit on BBC Woman’s Hour after being subjected to an ‘offensive and misogynistic’ interview on the show on Tuesday morning
Sinead is currently on the promo path with her tome and her appearance on the BBC show saw Emma investigate society’s approach to mental health and how the media is evolving after her personal battles.
Emma delved into Neil’s statement and said, “I was very moved by an interview with Neil McCormick, the music critic for The Telegraph, when he said your reputation as ‘the crazy lady in the doll’s attic’ haunted you.”
She pushed, “I wonder what you think about that?”
Sinead seemed surprised by the comment, pointing out the obvious reference to Bertha Mason, the character in Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 novel Jane Eyre, who is violently insane and imprisoned by her husband Rochester.
Strike Back: The Irish singer, 54, promoted her memoir Rememberings when she struck up the stilted conversation with host Emma Barnett, 36, (pictured in January) who said she was ‘a crazy lady’, while Sinead also compared herself to a Jamaican man
She said: ‘I think it’s a bit extreme to make the Jane Eyre comparison, I don’t think I’ve ever been seen as ‘the crazy lady in the doll’s attic’ as a representative in Jane Eyre…
“It’s not like I’m trying to attack people with knives or try to strangle people while walking around in my nightgown.”
In her tweets after the interview, Sinead, who changed her name to Shuhada’ Davitt in 2018, wrote: “I actually found the @Emmabarnett interview extremely offensive and even misogynistic…
‘One insulting and disempowering question or statement after another: ‘crazy in the attic’ At that moment I should have put an end to it. I will absolutely never do Women’s Hour again.’
Boycott: Sinead has vowed not to appear on the show again after referring to Neil McCormick’s slur
Emotional: She also apologized for insulting Jamaican men in chat
Her other tweet read: “I also apologize if I accidentally offended Jamaican men. I referred to specific friends of mine in the music business. Jamaican people are my favorite people on this earth and Jamaican male musicians are my biggest source of inspiration.’
Sinead’s apology came after she talked about her own family situation on the show. She has been married four times and has four children.
Her eldest son is 33-year-old Jake Reynolds, whose father is Donal Reynolds. They married in 1987 before splitting up in 1991. Her daughter Roisin, 24, is the result of her relationship with journalist John Waters.
Starring: Sinead’s apology came after she talked about her own family situation on the show. She has been married four times and has four children (Sinead, pictured in 1990)
Sinead’s children, their fathers and her husbands
– JAKE REYNOLDS, 33
FATHER: Music producer John Reynolds, whom she married in 1987, before splitting up in 1991
– ROISIN WALTERS, 24
FATHER: Journalist John Waters. Sinead never lived with John and they fought for custody of their daughter before it was decided that she would live with him in Dublin.
– SHANE LUNNY, 17
FATHER: Musician Donal Lunny. Sinead broke up with Donal shortly after Shane’s arrival
– YESHUA FRANCIS NEIL BONADIO, 14
FATHER: American businessman Frank Bonadio. She divorced Frank in 2007, a year after Yeshua’s birth.
MARRIED: John Reynolds
MARRIED: Nick Sommerlad
MARRIED: Steve Cooney
MARRIED: Barry Herridge
2011-Split Days Later
She shares son Jake, 16, with ex Donal Lunny. Her youngest child is 14-year-old Yeshua Francis Neil Bonadio, whom she shares with American businessman Frank Bonadio. They broke up in 2017, a year after his birth.
On the show, Emma asked Sinead, “You talk about having four kids with four different men and you say that’s intentional. I like your description of yourself as a horn dog, as someone who expresses himself and is himself.’
Sinead replied, “I think women have always had the freedom to do whatever they want sexually… I didn’t calculate in my life people of my parents’ generation or my grandparents that there was any restriction on women and their sexuality. ..
“It would probably still be unusual — I don’t know what it’s like in England — but it’s certainly unusual for someone to have more than two children with different fathers.”
She then referred to Jamaican men and said, “I’m kind of a Jamaican dad, dads say it’s a revolving door in my house…
“No one blinks an eyelid when Jamaican boys have kids with f**king – sorry I didn’t mean that – they have kids with tons of people and nobody squints.”
Emma pointed out that this could be taken as a generalization, saying, ‘Some people will not like the stereotyping of Jamaican men at the time’.
Sinead – who was interrupted by Emma – replied, “I wasn’t stereotyping, I was talking about a certain man whose name I can’t remember. I have to stop you there…
“I’m not generalizing about Jamaican people. They are my favorite people on earth, they are the best people on earth…
“The fact is that many of them have many children with many women and no one lifts an eyelid. I can call you a hundred men.’
Mother: Sinéad has four children – Shane Lunny, 16, Jake Reynolds, 33, Roisin Waters, 24, and Yeshua Bonadio, 14 (pictured with Shane and Yeshua in Dublin in 2012)
MailOnline has reached out to a representative from BBC Woman’s Hour for comment.
Sinead also spoke about the way mental health is handled in society, saying: ‘I call it racist, which is not the right word, but I can never find the right word. But being the victim of abuse by someone with a mental illness is akin to racism…
“I’ve experienced like many of my friends with conditions, having a mental illness is in the world as it is now, it’s like having two broken legs, but everyone expects you to walk normally…
“If you show symptoms and don’t walk normally, people will knock you over, stamp on your broken legs and use your screams of pain as something to mistreat you with.”
Emma came under fire earlier this year when a Woman’s Hour guest stormed out of the show just two minutes before airtime after claiming she overheard host Emma Barnett talking or making anti-Semitic comments.
Rising star: Sinead rose to fame in the 90s with her song Nothing Compares 2 U
Kelechi Okafor was supposed to talk about the MeToo movement on the Radio 4 show, but left the Zoom call shortly before it went live after the new host — on her third day in the hot seat — left her microphone on during a talk with producers.
The actress was accused of anti-Semitism in 2017 when she defended Reggie Yates after he praised musicians who weren’t signed to “any fat Jewish guy.”
Ms. Okafor said in the now-deleted podcast, “Black people in the entertainment industry have been so short-changed by the kind of people Reggie Yates describes. Other than the ‘fat part’ I don’t see what he said wrong.’
Barnett, who took over as the host of the popular Radio 4 show on Monday, said she had invited Ms. Okafor to debate the matter and “stands with her for questions.”
She said it was her duty to ask people what qualifies them as a leading voice in a space. And about any previous matters that could influence their views.’
She added: “Just before I went on air this morning to present a special program on Me Too – linked to the anniversary of Harvey Weinstein’s trial – it came to my attention that Kelechi Okafor had made alleged anti-Semitic remarks. .
“I stand by my questions to my team and to Kelechi. I would have loved to have her on the program with a question about this subject.’
She said Ms. Okafor denied the allegations. Campaigners have said that Barnett’s gaffe meant no BAME votes were included in the MeToo discussion.
A BBC spokesperson said: ‘During an off-air chat prior to the programme, Emma Barnett and the production team discussed a guest’s role in the discussion and how some of the guest’s alleged previous comments and the issue of anti-Semitism are part of the Woman’s Hour conversation about the role of minority voices in the MeToo movement. This was also brought up directly with the guest before it aired.’
Ms Okafor claimed she witnessed “absolutely humiliating and despicable.”
She wrote online: “Myself and the other people who would be talking during the segment could hear me being talked about as an ad******d.”