Comedy boss says he cancelled Graham Linehan because he was worried
Furious ticketholders blast Edinburgh Fringe comedy club for cancelling Graham Linehan as woke boss reveals he was afraid of backlash – while Father Ted creator says he is victim of ‘ideological coup’
- Graham Linehan’s axed show, Comedy Unleashed, platform ‘unwoke’ comics
- Did you buy tickets to the comedy night? E-mail: [email protected]
Ticket holders to a comedy night due to feature Graham Linehan has been blasted as it admitted it was a commercial decision over the risk of losing future LGBT+ bookings and customers.
Leith Arches, which is owned by pub entrepreneur Billy Ross, was accused of ‘discrimination’ after the evening was axed.
Joanna Williams said: ‘Had tickets and was very much looking forward to this. What gives censors the right to stop do many people’s enjoyment?
‘Really hoping another venue comes forward. I’ll happily join any protest outside Leith Arches.’
The venue had initially put out a statement saying Mr Linehan’s views did not align with its ‘overall values’ and praised members of the community for flagging it up.
This morning it put out a comment mentioning nothing of the comedian’s stances on issues.
Now it insisted: ‘We work very closely with the LGBT+ community, it is a considerable part of out revenue, we believe hosting this one off show would have a negative effect on future bookings.
Did you buy tickets to the comedy night? E-mail: [email protected]
Leith Arches, which is owned by pub entrepreneur Billy Ross, was accused of ‘discrimination’ after the evening was axed
The venue’s latest statement appeared to say the decision was a purely commercial decision
‘The decision was not influenced by the pressure of online activists, but by our regular community who use the space on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.’
Mr Linehan was set to join a comedy night at the Leith Arches venue on Thursday as part of a line up put together by comedian Andrew Doyle.
But then the venue announced they had axed the sold out gig – insisting that they would not allow the scriptwriter’s views to ‘violate’ their space.
Mr Linehan told MailOnline this morning: ‘There’s been an ideological coup within the theatre, TV, publishing – a view of the world based about a complete non-belief In biological fact.
‘These cultists are going to keep pulling the strings. None of this is based on evidence, it’s completely irrational.
A show featuring Father Ted creator Graham Linehan was axed by a comedy club at the Edinburgh Fringe over his stance on gender issues
Linehan was set to join a comedy night at the Leith Arches venue (pictured) on Thursday as part of a line up put together by comedian Andrew Doyle
‘Unfortunately they have been allowed to have too much power.
‘When we wrote Father Ted we were making fun of people who believed in people things that were not rational having power over society. Now we have these people controlling comedians. Once again we have a completely irrational belief system. The Catholic Church never tried to stop us telling jokes about them.
‘I have been fighting this for five years. All I have been doing is arguing that women need single-sex spaces, children don’t need medical intervention to be happy and that women deserve fair sports and not be inundated with death threats for standing up against it.’
Mr Linehan’s allegations of discrimination were backed up by SNP MP for Edinburgh South West, Joanna Cherry – herself no stranger to cancellation based on gender views.
After complaints were made to bosses at the club, they axed the sold out gig – insisting that they would not allow the scriptwriter’s views to ‘violate’ their space
SNP MP for Edinburgh South West, Joanna Cherry – herself no stranger to gender based cancellation – has come out in support of Linehan
Ms Cherry’s own Fringe event ‘In Conversation with Joanna Cherry’ had initially been cancelled by the Stand venue after pressure from activists over her gender critical views.
After seeking legal advice and fighting her corner, Ms Cherry’s show was reinstated and performed earlier this month.
READ MORE: Joanna Cherry rails against cancel culture at Edinburgh Festival as SNP MP is flanked by security – but only two trans activists turn up after comedy club tried to cancel her
Reacting to the news of Mr Linehan’s dismissal, Ms Cherry tweeted: ‘Looks like a pretty clear case of belief discrimination.’
She told the Mail: ‘This looks like a pretty clear case of unlawful discrimination because of a belief. I hope the legal opinion I secured when I took successful action against my own unlawful discrimination will be of assistance.
‘It’s available to anyone on my website for that reason. But really those in positions of political and cultural leadership need to take a stand against this sort of thing otherwise Edinburgh – the home of the enlightenment – is in danger of becoming an unlawful discrimination and anti free speech hot spot.’
Mr Linehan had been set to join a comedy night at the Leith Arches venue on Thursday as part of a line up put together by comedian Andrew Doyle.
The show, Comedy Unleashed, platforms ‘unwoke’ comics and would have seen Mr Linehan joined by three other performers.
But after complaints were made to bosses at the club, they axed the sold out gig – insisting that they would not allow the scriptwriter’s views to ‘violate’ their space.
Mr Linehan, 55, catapulted to fame in 1995 for creating Father Ted (pictured). He then went on to pen Black Books and The IT Crowd
Mr Linehan had previously been accused of holding transphobic views and received a warning from West Yorkshire police in 2018 after a Twitter row with transgender activist Stephanie Hayden, who claimed the comedy writer had ‘deadnamed’ her and used incorrect pronouns
Mr Doyle last night accused the venue of censoring comedy and dictating people’s choices.
He told the Daily Mail: ‘A handful of authoritarian activists are deciding what people can watch.
‘The Edinburgh Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world but is saying that one of the most foremost comedy writers cannot perform there.’
‘They say they’re an inclusive venue but you’re not allowed in for your views. We did not expect this, it is very surprising.’
In a social media post, the venue said: ‘We would like to thank the public for bringing to our attention, about a comedian who has been booked for an upcoming comedy show at our venue this Thursday, which we were not made aware of until today, via emails from rightly-so outraged members of our community.
‘We do not support this comedian, or his views, and he will not be allowed to perform at our venue and is cancelled from this Thursday’s comedy show with immediate effect.
‘An outside organiser was responsible for the line up and we were unaware as to who was performing until now.
‘We are an inclusive venue and will not allow such views to violate our space.’
Every year millions of tourists and performers flock to the Edinburgh Fringe
This year the iconic festival has been rocked by allegations of censorship
Mr Linehan, 55, catapulted to fame in 1995 for creating Father Ted. He then went on to pen Black Books and The IT Crowd.
However, he has more recently become known for standing up to transgender activists – something which led him to be banned from Twitter until new owner Elon Musk lifted his ban earlier this year.
He was booted off of the social media site after tweeting ‘men aren’t women tho’ after the Women’s Institute sent a Happy Pride message to its transgender members.
Mr Linehan had previously been accused of holding transphobic views and received a warning from West Yorkshire police in 2018 after a Twitter row with transgender activist Stephanie Hayden, who claimed the comedy writer had ‘deadnamed’ her and used incorrect pronouns.
Mr Doyle set up Comedy Unleashed as a platform for comedians who had been cancelled for sharing their unwoke views.
He has vowed to find another venue in Edinburgh for Mr Linehan and his fellow comic Alistair Williams, Mary Bourke and Dominic Frisby to perform at.
James Esses, co-founder of Thoughtful Therapists, an organisation concerned about the impact of gender identity ideology on children and young people, also hit out at the decision by Leith Arches.
He wrote: ‘The fact that people can be cancelled for holding beliefs grounded in biological reality tells us just how twisted society has become.’
Source: Read Full Article