Graham Linehan, the Irish comedian turned anti-trans activist, was recently dropped from a guest appearance at a comedy show after complaints from the local community. Although the cancellation quickly kicked off cries of cancel culture, Linehan received full backing from the organizer, and the show was relocated.
The show, hosted by GB News’ Andrew Doyle, would have taken place at Edinburgh venue Leith Arches on Thursday. After receiving complaints from their clientele, Leith Arches posted a now-deleted social media statement, explaining that Linehan would not be allowed to perform.
“An outside organizer was responsible for the lineup and we were unaware as to who was performing until now,” the statement read. “We are an inclusive venue and will not allow such views to violate our space.” The statement was later replaced by another, which clarified that Leith Arches made the decision to support their local LGBTQ+ patrons.
Ron and Casey DeSantis have three kids.
Linehan responded with threats of legal action. “I would suggest that Leith Arches reverses course because they’ve said enough online for an easy win in the courts,” he said, per The Guardian. “If they apologize and put the gig back on, I’ll say no more about it, but otherwise I’m going to be looking at legal action.”
The organizer, Comedy Unleashed, is helmed by Doyle and comic Andy Shaw. In response to the cancellation, Shaw told the BBC, “We’re very much against this cancel culture because we think it’s killing the arts and it’s treating the audience like children who need mollycoddling.
“Andrew Doyle and I set Comedy Unleashed up because we’re sick of this. We want the extroverts, we want all the crazy stuff, we want people to be free and treat the audience like they’re adults.”
While many British outlets have treated the situation like another case of “cancel culture,” Linehan’s attacks on trans people amount to much more than unpopular opinions. When he’s not blaming the trans community for the breakup of his own marriage, he is constantly comparing them to Nazis—nevermind that trans people were rounded up by the actual Nazis. He received a harassment warning from police in 2018 for sharing details about a trans woman’s life, family and address.
Linehan’s Twitter account was permanently suspended in 2020 for continued hateful conduct. Although the account was reinstated in 2022 when Elon Musk took over, even Musk had to pull the plug again in April when Linehan joked about killing counter-protestors at an anti-trans event.
Comedy Unleashed has since confirmed that it has found another venue in Edinburgh for Thursday’s show. They are still demanding an apology from Leith Arches before dropping their legal threats.