Graham Linehan Given Police Warning Over Transphobic Harassment

The co-writer of 'Father Ted' and 'Black Books' was given a warning by police in the UK after he shared the personal details of a trans activist on Twitter.

Image of Graham Linehan, who was given a warning by police.

Graham Linehan has been given a verbal harassment warning after he was reported to Norfolk Constabulary by trans activist Stephanie Hayden. The West Yorkshire police force told Linehan not to contact Hayden again after he retweeted a post that shared Hayden’s deadname and photo to his 672,000 followers on Twitter.

Hayden has accused Linehan of harassment, defamation and misuse of personal information. Linehan has told the BBC he is considering taking legal action against Hayden after alleging that the activist shared his wife’s personal details.

On Twitter, Hayden said:

“This has been a difficult week for me. Transphobia in any form is unacceptable. Now the police matter has been resolved anything else is between the parties. Thank you to the transgender community (and beyond) for your continued support.”

In response to the warning Linehan said:

“The police asked me to stop contacting someone I had no intention of contacting. It was a bit like asking me to never contact Charlie Sheen.”

Speaking to the BBC the writer said:

“The police phoned me and told me to stay away. I would love to keep Stephanie away from me and my family and I have no intention of speaking to Stephanie.”

Over the past few years, Graham Linehan has been called out for his problematic attitude towards transgender people, having tweeted opinions that align with trans exclusionary radical feminism (TERF). Last week, Linehan backed an organisation of trans women that opposes self-identification. The Black Books writer has deliberately misgendered Hayden on Twitter, but maintains that he is respectful of trans people and their pronouns:

“I will call all my trans friends ‘she’. I think of them as women, they are respectful and not misogynists. But I refuse to respect the pronouns of misogynists.”

In the past, Linehan has referred to top surgery as “mutilation”, calling it “frightening, horrible, like something out of a David Cronenberg movie”. The writer added that “we shouldn’t be encouraging it, we should be trying to stop it.”

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