Graham Linehan axed from comedy gig over anti-trans campaigning: ‘His views will not violate our space’

Graham Linehan

Father Ted creator Graham Linehan has been dropped from a comedy gig over his continued anti-trans campaigning. 

After receiving complaints from the public, Leith Arches, in Edinburgh, a community hub available for hire, private events and parties, announced that it had axed Linehan’s appearance as a guest at an upcoming comedy show hosted by GB News’ Andrew Doyle. 

The venue said in a statement posted on social media that it wasn’t made aware of Linehan’s planned appearance until receiving emails from “outraged members of the community”.

The post explained the decision, saying: “We do not support this comedy, or his views and he will not be allowed to perform at our venue and is cancelled from Thursday’s [17 August] comedy show with immediate effect.” 

The venue added that it is “inclusive and will not allow such views to violate our space”. 

Linehan responded on Twitter, recently rebranded as X, and wrote, as reported by the BBC: “It sure sounds like discrimination on the grounds of my legally protected beliefs.”

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MP Joanna Cherry, who claims she was silenced and cancelled over her so-called gender-critical views after comedy club The Stand decided to drop her “In conversation with…” event during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, came to Linehan’s defence, claiming his removal from the bill was a case of “belief discrimination”. 

The SNP MP’s show was later reinstated and the comedy club apologised, admitting that the cancellation was “unfair and constituted unlawful discrimination” against her.

Labour’s Rosie Duffield, who has repeatedly been criticised for calling trans women “male bodied” , also took Linehan’s side. 

The Canterbury MP implied that the TV writer’s cancellation as part of gay comedian Doyle’s stand-up bill was due to the host’s sexuality – which is incorrect.

Linehan, who also wrote The IT Crowd, has been involved in anti-trans activism since a portrayal of a trans woman in a 2008 episode of the hit show was criticised as “transphobic”. He has since compared gender-affirming care for trans children to Nazi experiments in concentration camps

In 2018, Linehan was given a verbal harassment warning by police after disseminating information on Twitter about a trans woman, including her home address.

In 2021, he joined Her, a dating app designed to “connect women and queer people”, set up a fake profile pretending to be a trans woman, to humiliate and shame other users.

He was kicked off of the app, with its founders stating it’s for “all women, including the trans community”. 

And last year, the Father Ted musical was scrapped following Linehan’s anti-trans views, a move he blamed on the actions of trans rights activists.

Most recently, in April, Linehan’s Twitter account was suspended for a second time for violating the platform’s rules against “posting violent threats” after he wrote a post “joking about killing protestors” at an anti-trans Let Women Speak event held by activist Posie Parker. The account was later reinstated.