BBC apologized soon after publishing the soft headline, "Talented but flawed producer Phil Spector dies aged 81."
Referring to the murderer who shot actress Lana Clarkson in the mouth as merely "flawed," BBC was immediately hit with backlash, including an article in The Guardian titled "Phil Spector wasn't a 'flawed genius' – he was a murderer," and a tweet by singer Lily Allen:
BBC immediately changed its headline to "Pop producer jailed for murder dies at 81" and said, "We apologise for this error," and that the headline "did not meet our editorial standards."
Reacting to the original version of the BBC's story, pop star Lily Allen tweeted: "Rolling eyes at all the journos deliberately downplaying Phil Spector being a murderer in their headlines, so everyone points this out while linking to their articles resulting in lots of clicks."
"He murdered Lana Clarkson" posted Labour MP Apsana Begum. "Unforgivable reporting."
"How about 'Murderer, Phil Spector dies aged 81'?" offered author and historian Hallie Rubenhold.
The headline was also discussed on TV and radio programmes on Monday, including Loose Women and Radio 4's Woman's Hour, and prompted an article in the Guardian.
The phrasing of the BBC's article – and others like it – were "a reflection of how a man's 'genius' is often viewed as more important than a woman's humanity," said columnist Arwa Mahdawi.
Image: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation