No, Louise Redknapp did not ‘throw Eternal under the bus’ by standing up for LGBTQ+ rights

Louise Redknapp wearing Prada at an event.

Louise Redknapp has been accused of throwing her Eternal bandmates under the bus by refusing to bow down to their anti-trans demands – but this right-wing media narrative completely misses the point.

There was much excitement among fans of the popular 90s R&B group when it emerged that a reunion tour was on the cards. However, Redknapp and Kéllé Bryan reportedly pulled the plug when they found out that sisters Easther and Vernie Bennett wouldn’t play at LGBTQ+ festival Mighty Hoopla or Pride events.

According to The Mirror, Redknapp and Bryan received an email from the Bennett sisters in June in which they said they wouldn’t perform at the events because Pride had been “hijacked” by the trans rights movement.

Redknapp and Bryan were reportedly “stunned” when they found out about the Bennetts’ anti-trans views, and the reunion was officially binned.

Since then, sections of the right-wing press have fiercely pushed the narrative that Redknapp pulled out of the tour in a bid to have her bandmates “cancelled” – because obviously her decision couldn’t have anything to do with her principles.

English R&B girl group Eternal pictured in 1997 after Louise Redknapp's departure.
Eternal pictured in 1997 after Louise Redknapp’s departure. (Tim Roney/Getty)

The fallout is now starting to spiral out of all control, with Eternal’s former manager Denis Ingoldsby weighing in to accuse Redknapp of throwing the Bennetts “under the bus” and of engaging in “bullying behaviour”.

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Ingoldsby told The Mirror: “The girls sent an email to Louise’s camp saying they loved playing Pride, and they loved the ethos of the event. For her camp to go on the record suggesting they are homophobic is utterly outrageous.”

However, the sisters had concerns about “the trans lobby and the erosion of the rights of women and children”, he admitted.

“Vernie said she had some concerns about the Pride movement being hijacked – and she is not alone – but this has now been weaponised against her, with Louise’s team trying to get her cancelled,” Ingoldsby claimed.

Louise Redknapp isn’t trying to cancel her Eternal bandmates

In reality, nobody is trying to get anybody cancelled, and no one been thrown under a bus. All that’s happened is that Redknapp decided she didn’t want to tour with people who had deeply held anti-trans views.

Eternal band members Easther and Vernie Bennett.
Eternal’s Easther and Vernie Bennett are at the centre of a row over a scrapped reunion. (Getty)

And how could Redknapp possibly have gone ahead with the tour once she knew about the sisters’ views? She has a massive queer fan base so touring with people who oppose their rights and freedoms would not only have been personally difficult, it also would have put her career at risk.

It’s also possible – maybe even likely – that Redknapp and her team were further deterred from the reunion tour once they took a look at Vernie Bennett’s X (formerly Twitter) profile and discovered that she is a fan of right-wing US pundit and Donald Trump advocate Tucker Carlson.

It’s a tricky situation to navigate for any artist, and yet, Redknapp has maintained a dignified silence.

The only public statement she has issued on the matter came when she posted a picture of a progress Pride flag on social media with the caption “Always & Forever”.

If she really wanted to throw the Bennett sisters under the bus and “cancel” them, wouldn’t she have spoken out by now?

The truth is that Redknapp is just the latest pro-LGBTQ+ celebrity to put herself in the firing line by daring to align with the queer community. That won’t be forgotten by her fans.

Meanwhile, the right-wing press will keep doing everything it can to shoehorn its “cancel culture” narrative into whatever story they can – even when doing so doesn’t make any sense.