Glastonbury viewers were left confused after BBC iPlayer omitted a protest song by Olivia Rodrigo and Lily Allen from its highlights coverage.
On Friday (24 June), the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of a Mississippi law that outlaws abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy while also overturning key precedents established by the 1973 decision in Roe v Wade.
Through her performance on the festival’s Other Stage, the “drivers license” singer brought out special guest Allen for a rendition of Allen’s 2009 hit “F*** You”.
Introducing the song, Rodrigo said: “I’m devestated and terrified [by the recent ruling] and so many women and girls are going to die because of this and I wanted to dedicate this next song to the five members of the Supreme Court who showed us at the end of the day they truly don’t give a s*** about freedom.”
Standing next to Rodrigo, Allen was seen giving the middle finger.
“We hate you guys!” said Rodrigo, before the pair launched into the expletive-filled track.
While the performance did not feature in the BBC’s highlight coverage, which was added to iPlayer, the broadcaster did upload the video to YouTube.
It is assumed that the track was omitted from the highlights video due to pre-watershed guidelines regarding swearing.
Previous instances of artists criticising the Roe v Wade ruling have made it into the BBC’s TV broadcasts and iPlayer highlight videos.
Rodrigo’s set contained other instances of swearing. When it occurred during songs, as in “good 4 u”, it was censored for broadcast. However, an uncensored expletive uttered by Rodrigo between songs did make it to air, prompting an apology from the BBC shortly after.
It has been suggested that the sheer volume of bad language in “F*** You” made bleeping the swear words impractical.
Nonetheless, the decision to cut the song from the full iPlayer broadcast attracted some criticism on social media.
“BBC very badly editing Olivia Rodrigo’s Glastonbury set to exclude her performing ‘F*** You’ with Lily Allen … yeah it’s not a good look given the message behind the performance,” one person wrote.
“I kind of get why @bbcglasto couldn’t really broadcast a song called ‘F*** You’ on BBC One at 7.45pm,” another tweeted, “But it seems it meant we missed a guest appearance by Lily Allen and a rather glorious speech by Olivia Rodrigo about Roe v Wade and SCOTUS...”
The Independent has contacted the BBC, and representatives for Rodrigo and Allen, for comment and clarification.
You can find a round-up of highlights from day four at Glastonbury, including Greta Thunberg’s surpirse apperance and Rodrigo’s blistering duet with Allen, here.
For all the updates from Glastonbury, follow The Independent’s liveblog here.