Ireland’s 2023 Eurovision representative Wild Youth, have confirmed that they have parted company with creative director Ian Banham, over alleged transphobic and anti vax comments he made.
The band confirmed this news, revealing that they have cut ties with Banham for their “Eurovision journey”.
They also insisted that they strive to represent their beliefs in their music.
“so sorry for anyone offended”
Wild Youth who consist of band members, David Whelan, Ed Porter, Callum McAdam, and Conor O’Donohoe, confirmed that they parted ways with Banham via their official Twitter account.
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 journey. We are so sorry for anyone offended by his comments. ❤️
— Wild Youth (@bandwildyouth) April 25, 2023
“Wild Youth is a band that stands for unity and kindness,” they wrote. “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 Eurovision journey”, the band tweeted. “We are so sorry for anyone offended by his comments”.
They later added that RTE are aware of their decision and “And just to note […] @rte were as horrified as we were”.
A statement was later added, explaining that Banham was dismissed over his racent transphobic and ant-vax comments.
“RTE have fired Ian Banham as creative director for Wild Youth at Eurovision 2023, following a series of transphobic and anti-vaccine tweets emerging online and after pressure from fans to fire him”, it stated. “We at Eurovision Updates fully support this decision”.
Ian Banham had previously worked with artists such as Westlife and Nathan Carter, along with TV series, ‘Got To Dance’, ‘Dancing On Ice’, along with ‘So You Think You Can Dance’.
At the time of publishing, Ian Banham had yet to comment on the matter.
Wild Youth’s entry ‘We Are One’ was chosen as the winning entry to represent Ireland at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, beating off competition from former Sex Pistols singer John Lydon, and his band Public Image Ltd, whose track was also dedicated to Lydon’s late wife Nora, who passed away after battling Alzheimer’s disease. More here.