Katherine Ryan says she was attacked by ‘other feminists’ online after Slowthai incident at NME Awards

Comedian said she was worried about rapper being ‘cancelled’ after on-stage incident

Slowthai brawls with fan after ‘misogynist’ interaction with Katherine Ryan at NME Awards

Katherine Ryan has reflected on the Slowthai controversy that took place at the NME Awards earlier this year. 

In February, Ryan – who was hosting the ceremony – gave Slowthai the award for Hero of the Year. The rapper then made a series of lewd comments towards the star, pawing at her and insisting she smell his cologne.

“Baby girl, I don’t want to have to do this right now,” he said. “If you want to do something, see me later. She wants me to tend to her flowers … You’ve never had no one play with you the way I play.”

Slowthai later “unreservedly apologised” for his “shameful actions” on the night, which included a later altercation with an audience member who criticised his behaviour. 

After the show, Ryan tweeted that Slowthai “didn’t make me uncomfortable” and faced her own backlash for refusing to condemn his behaviour. She was also accused of normalising sexual harassment.

Seven months on, she told NME: “It didn’t bother me but it was very difficult to watch as a feminist. But I think unfortunately some of our worst enemies are other feminists."

Ryan added: "There is a group that direct a lot of criticism inward and they pick apart your feminism versus their feminism, whereas if we all united, we’d be in a better position. I had mostly women cross [at me] because I’d not denounced the events at the NME Awards.”

She described the incident with Slowthai as a “fun” moment where they were “both in character”.

After the event, she said she felt “motherly concern” towards the rapper and “regret” about the potential effects of the exchange on his career. 

“Because I’m vehemently against ‘cancel culture’ in most cases” said Ryan. “We’re always looking to ruin someone’s career. To take the context and nuance out of the situation didn’t make sense to me. I wish it had just stayed as a great rock ‘n’ roll moment in the room – and I respect him as an artist and performer.”

Ryan’s new show, The Duchess, is out on Netflix today.

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