Spitfire Audio co-founder Christian Henson returns with new project, The Crow Hill Company

Henson was asked to step back from his duties after making allegedly transphobic comments in 2022.

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Spitfire Audio's co-founder Christan Henson

Image: Spitfire Audio/Facebook

Christian Henson, the co-founder of Spitfire Audio who stepped back from his active role in the company in 2022 after making allegedly transphobic comments, has returned with a new venture called The Crow Hill Company.

It’s a platform offering a wide range of services for artists, where musicians can interact, provide feedback and share ideas with one another. There will apparently be useful resources available such as tutorial videos and subscribers will receive free plugins and high-quality professional sound libraries.

The Bafta- and Ivor Novello-nominated TV, film and games composer, Christian Henson, has, he says, continued scoring feature films and TV series, including Inside No.9, during his time away from Spitfire Audio.

He revealed this and announced his return in a video posted to YouTube on Thursday 19 October. In it, Henson says, “So, for the past six months, I’ve been on gardening leave. I fucking hate gardening.” If you don’t know, gardening leave is when an employee, who has either resigned or had their employment terminated, is required to stay away from work during the notice period while being paid.

Why did Christian Henson step down from Spitfire Audio?

The co-founder decided to take leave from Spitfire Audio due to comments he made online that were interpreted as transphobic. Henson expressed support for JK Rowling and Graham ‘Glinner’ Linehan, both of whom have faced criticism for their views on transgender issues, in a now-deleted tweet.

This tweet sparked a backlash from Spitfire Audio’s followers and artists like Ólafur Arnalds, who wrote, “Blanket statements like that hurt those in the communities you have helped created and those who most need our support.” As a result, Henson’s tweet, posted for less than 24 hours, led to a significant number of Spitfire Audio users announcing their intent to boycott the company.

Spitfire Audio’s CEO at the time, Will Evans, later released a statement, writing, “We’ve worked hard to be a beacon for the industry and have a responsibility to do better”. He also announced that Henson would be “taking a break” until the company worked out how to move forward from the situation.

In social media post reacting to Henson’s return, producer and content creator Jeremy Blake AKA Red Means Recording calls Henson an “unrepentant transphobe”. He writes: “I’m not telling anyone to harass him. I don’t think that would help. I’m spreading this word so that people know what the company is called so they can spend their money elsewhere, and also help people avoid working for this company if they care about trans rights.”

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