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Graham Linehan vs. transgender people

Graham Linehan is an Irish comedy writer and anti-transgender activist. 


Linehan was born May 22, 1968 in Dublin. Linehan’s initial career was as a comedy writer. Linehan helped create and write on shows including Father TedBlack BooksThe IT Crowd, Count Arthur StrongBrass Eye, and The Fast Show.

Anti-transgender activism

Linehan became an anti-transgender activist after the 2008 The IT Crowd episode “The Speech” was criticized as transphobic. Channel 4 pulled the episode from their streaming service in 2020, infuriating Linehan.

Linehan’s subsequent fixation on trans people led to the end of both Linehan’s comedy career and marriage. A review of Linehan’s 2023 book Tough Crowd summarizes “the extremity of Linehan’s rhetoric”:

In my view, and that of his critics, some of his online remarks have been plainly and unapologetically transphobic: Linehan has characterised the trans rights movement as “paedophilic” and called trans activists and allies “groomers”. It’s true enough that his former life is in tatters: the controversies led to the end of his marriage, the abandonment of a planned, lucrative Father Ted musical, and his agent dropping him.

[…] Often, Linehan paints trans women as predators, men looking to insinuate themselves into women’s spaces in order to assault them with greater ease. When convenient, they are made out to be victims, brainwashed and exploited young queer people who are convinced to “mutilate” their bodies in the name of ideology. 

[…] To an extent, the book’s very existence disputes the pretence of Linehan to have been deplatformed. If Linehan had siloed his anti-trans views somewhat, rather than warp them into a life-consuming vocation, his once-glittering TV career might well have remained intact to this day.

Chilton (2023)

The Mess We’re In

Linehan started an interview show in 2020 that frequently has conservative, gender critical, and anti-transgender guests.

For the full episode list with guests, see The Mess We’re In.


Chilton, Louis (October 13. 2023). The problems with Graham Linehan’s memoir Tough Crowd. The Independent

Brown, Lee (March 17, 2023). ‘Father Ted’ creator Graham Linehan blames trans war for ending his marriage. New York Post

NSW Liberal candidate likens anti-trans activism to opposing the HolocaustThe Guardian. 14 April 2022.

Andrews, Penny (20 November 2020). Choose your fighter: Loyalty and fandom in the free speech culture wars. Manchester University Press. p. 259. ISBN 978-1-5261-5255-8.  – via …inviting anti-trans voices such as Graham Linehan or Kathleen Stock on to programmes or to write articles…

Harassers Use Substack Sign-Ups to Spam Trans People and AlliesThe Observer. 20 April 2021.

Burns, Katelyn (19 December 2019). J. K. Rowling’s transphobia is a product of British cultureVox.

Horbury, Ezra; Yao, Christine (1 August 2020). Empire and Eugenics: Trans Studies in the UK (PDF). Transgender Studies Quarterly3 (7): 445–454. doi:10.1215/23289252-8553104 [archiveThis online transphobia has been spearheaded by former comedy writer Graham Linehan…

Dalwood, Charlotte (6 January 2022). The alt-internet of anti-trans [archive]

The GOP ‘grooming’ smear is sparking a new wave of anti-LGBT+ violenceThe Independent. 14 April 2022.

Moore, Sam (25 October 2021). “Matt Berry comments on ‘transphobic’ IT Crowd episode”The Independent. [archive

Krol, Charlotte (9 October 2020). “Channel 4 pulls IT Crowd episode over transphobic content”NME. [archive

Clute, Emily (18 April 2021). The IT Crowd: The Controversial Episode that Killed the Hit Comedy Series”Screenrant. [archive

Falvey, Deirdre (21 January 2019). “Graham Linehan: Trans activists ‘don’t realise the damage’ they do”The Irish Times. [archive]

Haugh, Ben (18 December 2019). Father Ted creator Linehan creates own social network to defy Twitter after transgender row”The Times. [archive]

Blackall, Molly (27 June 2020). “Twitter closes Graham Linehan account after trans comment”The Guardian. [archive]

Gabbatiss, Josh (7 July 2018). “London Pride: Anti-trans activists disrupt parade by lying down in the street to protest ‘lesbian erasure'”The Independent. London. [archive

Murphy, Sandra (22 January 2019). “How Graham Linehan went from national treasure to divisive figure for trans community” [archive]

Lyons, Izzy (7 October 2018). “Transgender lawyer launches UK’s first ‘deadnaming’ case against Father Ted writer Graham Linehan”The Telegraph [archive

Coyle, Colin (7 October 2018). Father Ted writer Graham Linehan warned by police after ‘trolling’ transgender activist”The Sunday Times [archive

Halliday, Josh (7 October 2018). “Graham Linehan given police warning after complaint by transgender activist”The Guardian [archive]

Father Ted writer given harassment warning. 7 October 2018. [archive

Derrick Jensen and Graham Linehan (9 December 2018). Resistance Radio – Guest: Graham Linehan (Podcast). Podbean. The opposition is so extreme and so frightening that eventually everyone is asking you to stop. My feeling is that I can’t, because it’s too important. It’s too important to the women in my life and it’s too important to me. I’m now in a position where I can answer the question honestly of, if you were around at the time of something terrible happening like Nazism, or whatever it happened to be, would you be one of the people who said “no, this is wrong”, despite being opposed? I feel happy in myself that I’ve been one of the people standing up and saying “no, this is wrong”, despite everyone telling me not to do it.

Father Ted writer Graham Linehan compares the trans movement to NazismiNews [archive

Graham Linehan Under Fire for Comparing Trans Activism to NazismAttitude [archive

Father Ted creator Graham Linehan on trans rightsNewsnight BBC [archive

The UK’s Holocaust memorial boss condemns Graham Linehan for comparing trans healthcare to Nazi experimentsMSN 14 [archive]

David Davies ‘welcomes’ Big Lottery Fund’s ‘review’ of grant to transgender charityTalkradio [archive]

Statement: Outcome of our review into Mermaids UK grantNational Lottery Community Fund [archive]

Statement: Outcome of our review into Mermaids UK grantNational Lottery Community Fund [archive

Asarch, Steven (20 January 2019). Twitch stream pulls in $250,000 for Mermaids charity featuring Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Owen Jones and moreNewsweek [archive]

Gamer Hbomberguy hands funding row charity Donkey Kong boostBBC News [archive]

NSPCC employee who hired Munroe Bergdorf gets homophobic abusePinkNews [archive]

Hozier and Father Ted creator Graham Linehan join Twitter row over JK Rowling commentsIrish Independent [archive]

Wakefield, Lily (1 December 2020). Disgraced comedy writer Graham Linehan, booted from Twitter for hateful conduct, returns with fake ‘trans guy’ accountPinkNews. [archive

Wakefield, Lily (3 December 2020). Disgraced comedy writer Graham Linehan boasts he’s back on Twitter with a ‘new sim card’ after being kicked off for a second timePinkNews. [archive

Burrows, Marc (30 December 2022). Opinion: Why do people like Graham Linehan keep choosing this hill to die on? The Independent

Kelleher, Patrick (21 February 2021). Graham Linehan joined a queer women’s dating app to share trans people’s profiles. It backfired, badlyPinkNews [archive]

(9 March 2021). Subject: Freedom of expression onlineCommunications and Digital Committee. [archive]

Crellin, Zac (19 April 2022). Father Ted creator rallies global support for Katherine Deves and her anti-trans commentsThe New Daily

Wakefield, Lily (1 October 2022). Anti-trans activist Graham Linehan says he’s no longer sure about COVID vaccines or climate changePinkNews

Graham Linehan: My interview with Stephen Nolan on YouTube

Rose, Anna (25 March 2022). ‘Father Ted’ musical axed following Graham Linehan’s controversial viewsNME [archive

Williamson, Harriet (16 April 2023). Anti-trans mouthpiece Graham Linehan suspended from Twitter…again. PinkNews

Jones, Alice (30 May 2015). Inside the comic world of Peter Serafinowicz: The spoof video master is heading to HollywoodThe Independent [archive

Edemariam, Aida (11 June 2011). The Saturday Interview: Graham LinehanThe Guardian [archive

Kelly, Guy (16 January 2015). Graham Linehan interview: ‘On the streets, Twitter trolls would be considered sociopaths’The Telegraph [archive

Gentleman, Amelia (19 October 2015). How heartbreak led Helen and Graham Linehan to campaign for abortion in Ireland. The Guardian [archive

TV writer Graham Linehan: How my transgender views cost me my marriageBelfast Telegraph [archive]


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