Graham Norton ‘hounded off Twitter’ for suggesting we listen to trans people

BBC broadcaster Graham Norton is stepping away from his radio show

Graham Norton has been “hounded off Twitter” after he suggested that we should listen to trans people, not cisgender celebrities, when it comes to trans rights.

In an interview at Cheltenham Literary Festival, Norton gave a sensible and measured response to questions on cancel culture, trans rights and JK Rowling.

He said cancel culture was a misnomer and would be more accurately described as “accountability”, and insisted trans people and their families should be listened to over cisgender celebrities like himself.

“Talk to trans people, talk to the parents of trans kids, talk to doctors, talk to psychiatrists, to someone who can illuminate this in some way,” he said.

“I’m very aware that, as a bloke on the telly, your voice can be artificially amplified, and once in a blue moon, that can be good, but most of the time, it’s just a distraction.

“If you want to talk about something, talk about the thing, you don’t need to attach a Kardashian or whatever to a subject, the subject should be enough in itself.”

But as praise for his response spread across Twitter, so-called “gender critical” figures began to rage.

JK Rowling told musician and activist Billy Bragg that Norton’s comments were evidence of a “spate of bearded men stepping confidently onto their soapboxes to define what a woman is and throw their support behind rape and death threats to those who dare disagree”.

Soon Graham Norton began receiving a barrage of abuse from those echoing Rowling’s claims, and by Monday (17 October), his Twitter account had disappeared.

AIDSmap director Matthew Hodson also tweeted: “It appears that Graham Norton has been hounded off Twitter following a very famous person accusing him of supporting ‘rape and death threats to those who dare disagree’ with trans rights.”

Author Sarah Gibbs added: “Graham Norton’s comments were *so* mild that I was initially critical, thinking he could have done more and he still got hounded off of Twitter – for saying people should listen to trans people on trans issues. He attacked no one. He expressed no view. #IStandWithGrahamNorton.”

“All Graham Norton did is suggest we should listen to trans people and their parents when discussing trans issues,” said journalist Owen Jones.

“He specifically made it clear he didn’t want to be directly involved in the discussion.

“For that, he’s been hounded off Twitter by anti-trans activists.”

PinkNews has approached Graham Norton for comment.