Father Ted musical axed over Graham Linehan's views | Writer complains trans rights campaigners have cost him everything

Father Ted musical axed over Graham Linehan's views

Writer complains trans rights campaigners have cost him everything

The Father Ted musical has been axed because of co-creator Graham Linehan’s repeated clashes with transexual rights campaigners.

In a tearful interview with the BBC’s Stephen Nolan, the writer has told how he had lost his career and his family over the bitter arguments that have consumed his life.

He said: 'My original bet was that the Ted musical was too big to fail.  I simply thought, if they come after it, then that will be good because then people will see how crazy this is, how absurd and how censorious, how anti-female, how homophobic that this movement is.’

But he claimed producers have ‘rolled over’ to lobbyists’ demands and pulled the plug, eve though the show had gone into rehearsal.

Linehan revealed, adding that  The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon  had ‘written some of the best music you'll ever hear’ for it.

'We have songs for every character, we have a great story, it was ready to go,’ he said. ‘And just because a group of people have decided that anybody who speaks up against this ideology is evil, they've just kind of rolled over for those people. No one is standing up for me.’

Linehan, 53, also acknowledged that his strident views have cost him his marriage to Motherland writer Helen,  but added: 'The one thing about this that keeps me going is that I know I'm right. Sometimes something is so wrong that you have to say something and if I didn't say something I'd go mad.’

As he complained about cancel culture, he added that no one in showbusiness had offered him support, saying: ‘I'll tell you why other comedians won't stand up for me even if they agree with me. Every comedian at the moment is living under a kind of state of permanent blackmail. Every comedian knows that if they step on the wrong side of any particular line, it could be this or it could be any other number of things, there's a few hot button issues where you have to follow a certain line and if you don't, you'll be destroyed.

‘I've been thoroughly cancelled. I'll tell you how cancelled I am, there were two programmes called Cancelled and I wasn't on either of them… that’s how cancelled I am.’

Last December, Linehan told The Mail on Sunday that producers of the Father Ted musical had told him to remove his name from the project  if it was to be viable as they were ‘’terrified that as soon as it opens, trans activists will try and shut it down’

Linehan has been criticised for his views, including objecting to  gender self-identification and for likening the medical transition of children to Nazi eugenics. In 2018, he was warned by police about harassment of a transgender activist and has been suspended by Twitter for ‘repeated violations of our rules against hateful conduct’.

His comments, predictably, divided opinion

One Twitter user wrote: ‘I see #GrahamLinehan has been crying he's lost his family and been cancelled. The man has literally obsessed over trans people. He's misgender them, deadnamed them, vilified them, supported other trans hostile people, hounded people. I have no sympathy for him.’

Another said: ‘I can't stop laughing at that video of Graham Linehan sobbing that he lost his family. Never before has someone gotten what they deserved and humiliated so publicly this is fucking awesome.’

And another posted: ‘Re Graham Linehan saying "they took my family" No, trans people didn’t take your family. They didn’t kidnap them or force them to leave. Your family left of their own accord, due to your behaviour. I truly hope you can snap out of it, for your sake, but mostly for trans folk.’

However others praised him for ‘standing up for women’ and defending single-sex spaces despite the severity of the backlash he faced for his views.

Meanwhile, trans comedian Jen Ives has shared troubling footage showing how she was verbally abused and branded a ‘pervert’ while attending the LGB Alliance conference last year.

The event, attended by Linehan, featured. panels about free speech and the supposed threat of ‘transgender ideology’.

In the clip, the man filming rages at Ives: ‘You are a mentally ill autogynephilic pervert’.  Autogynephilia is a term sometimes used for a man who gets turned on by thought of himself as a female.

Ives said: ‘The thing this video doesn’t demonstrate much, and is for me the most chilling aspect, is the sheer lack of empathy from the women surrounding me. They emboldened, supported and relished in my harassment & continued to victim blame me well afterwards.’

Published: 25 Mar 2022

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