Ustreme founder Jim Davidson said it is “absolutely f***ing mad” that legendary sitcom writer Graham Linehan’s Edinburgh Fringe show was cancelled – and criticised those censoring comedy because they hold different views.
Father Ted writer Linehan had his stand-up show at Leith Arches cancelled following complaints from “outraged members of our community”, due to his gender critical views and support for women’s rights.
In a social media post, Leith Arches wrote: “We are an inclusive venue and this does not align with our overall values. We were not made aware of the lineup of this show in advance.”
The gig, which was organised by Comedy Unleashed and also featured four other comedians, has ultimately been rescheduled elsewhere following national outrage to the ban.
Jim – who is no stranger to cancel culture himself – said: “I thought it was only me and Chubby Brown who got cancelled but now they are cancelling the lefties too. Really, WHAT IS GOING ON?
“This is about Graham Linehan, who wrote Father Ted. He is one of the top comedy writers in the country.
“So, this is what has happened…my friend Andrew Doyle has a little team of people who he believes can tread that line between what is “acceptable” and “unacceptable”.
“Comedy can be cruel, but we can choose to be offended by jokes or not be offended by them. We can also choose not to go to shows. But what people are doing now is choosing to be offended by comedy even if they are not going and even if they are miles away from the show. They say, ‘How dare you have this person on?’
“It’s absolutely f***ing mad.
“Here, we have Graham who has views about transgender people. Well, he hasn’t really got views on transgender people, he just wants to protect women’s and gay rights.
“It’s going a bit mad that someone can call up and complain, and then a show is cancelled. What is going on?
“Me and Chubby Brown get cancelled everywhere we go and the majority of the theatres are sold out. Just mention something someone doesn’t like, and you’re banned. It’s a joke.
“We cannot be told what to do by some faceless person sitting there making decisions like this. The people can make their own minds up on what they want to watch.”
Linehan has suggested he could pursue legal action following the show’s cancellation but Andy Shaw, the co-founder of Comedy Unleashed, has said that would not be necessary if Leith Arches issued a public apology to the company and Linehan.