Graham Linehan says that his campaigns against trans people have cost him work

The co-creator of Father Ted has spoken up about his career being halted due to his continuously negative views about trans people.

A man with messy hair and a dishevelled suit wearing glasses

The co-creator of the hit comedy series Father Ted, Graham Linehan, has revealed how his career has suffered due to the backlash from his consistently critical campaign against trans issues and his adamant stance on gender identity. 

“I think there’s just a stink around me, the stink of bigotry, you know, that has deliberately been created, by radical trans-rights activists. It has had a chilling effect.” Linehan said. Linehan had previously urged the National Lottery to withdraw funding from a charity for trans children.

Linehan, who also wrote The IT Crowd, has said how he has not won any commissions in two years due to said backlash. He had originally received several offers but these were soon reversed, such as his comedy masterclass being cancelled due to security costs. “They said that they couldn’t afford the extra security,” he said. He was also given a commission from the estate of a famous author to write a companion piece for a well-known play, but that too was cancelled when the estate said they didn’t want to become “embroiled” in the trans debate that he was a part of. The cancellation of the former cost him half a year’s income, Linehan revealed.

Linehan is also highly active on Twitter, with just over 600,000 followers that he uses to voice his anti-trans views, as well as to defend women-only spaces and facilities. He was recently criticised for both supporting and assisting Stella O’Malley – a psychotherapist and public speaker – in compiling a list of ‘gender critical’ therapists for parents with transgender children. He was also criticised in 2018 for using the platform to deadname – naming a trans person’s birth name rather than their chosen one – a transgender lawyer, which also resulted in him being given a police warning.

Linehan, who is 51 and married with two children, has said he was advised by friends to steer away from the debate to save his career. He has firmly rejected that advice however, citing the supposed quiet support of trans people that are against the actions and tactics of transgender activists.

“I don’t want it to sound like I’m a leader of anything, but, as a high-profile person in the entertainment business, I think I helped get these women heard a lot more. Feminists all over the world are now looking to the UK as the place where the resistance to all this stuff started: I do like to think I had something to do with that.” 

Linehan has claimed that many well-meaning people believe the debate about being trans is “like the gay debate” but says that the differences are fundamental.

“The gay issue was telling people they were fine the way they were. The gender ideology . . . tells them they are in the wrong bodies and must change their bodies to fit into a sexist and homophobic society. When I first got into this conversation I would see young girls getting double mastectomies and hysterectomies and I didn’t think I’d have to talk about it long. I thought others would see this was obviously wrong, and step in.

“None of that happened. I’ve been left swinging in the wind by people who I thought were my friends. I have to keep speaking out.”

Graham Linehan’s claims of receiving support from trans people don’t reflect previous sentiments toward him, as seen by the protests organised due to his appearance on RTE’s Prime Time back in September of last year. His latest career problems also reflect a lack of support.

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