The Irish singer spoke to host Emma Barnett on Tuesday morning (June 1) to discuss her new memoir Rememberings.
However, their chat took an awkward turn when Barnett mentioned that The Telegraph‘s music critic Neil McCormick had described O’Connor as “the crazy lady in pop’s attic”.
O’Connor, who has changed her birth name to Shuhada Sadaqat, replied: “I think it’s a bit extreme to make the Jane Eyre comparison, I don’t think I’ve ever been perceived as ‘the crazy lady in pop’s attic’ as represented in Jane Eyre…
“It’s not like I’m trying to attack people with knives or trying to strangle people while I’m walking around in my nightdress.”
Posting on Twitter hours after the appearance, Sinead tweeted: “Actually found the interview with @Emmabarnett extremely offensive and even misogynistic. One abusive and invalidating question or statement after another: ‘madwoman in the attic’. At that point I should have ended it. I will absolutely never do Women’s hour again.”
Actually found the interview with @Emmabarnett extremely offensive and even misogynistic. One abusive and invalidating question or statement after another: "madwoman in the attic" At that point I should have ended it. I will absolutely never do Women’s hour again.
— Sinead O'Connor (Shuhada Sadaqat) (@MagdaDavitt77) June 1, 2021
She added in a follow-up tweet: “Also, apologies if I accidentally offended Jamaican men. I was referring to specific friends of mine in the music business. Jamaican people are my favourite people on this earth and Jamaican male musicians my biggest inspiration.”
The follow-up tweet referred to a moment in the interview when O’Connor compared herself to a Jamaican man because she has been married four times and has four children.
“I’m kind of like a Jamaican father, fathers say is a revolving door in my house,” she said.
“Nobody bats an eyelid when Jamaican fellas have kids with fucking – sorry didn’t mean to say that – they have kids with tons of people and no one bats an eyelid.”
Addressing O’Connor’s criticisms, a BBC spokesperson said: “During an interview about her new book, Sinead O’Connor was talking about her mental health and was asked what she made of a comment by a music critic reviewing her book in recent days.”