Debbie Hayton Debbie Hayton

The silencing of Graham Linehan

Graham Linehan (Getty images)

You may not have heard of Graham Linehan but you will be familiar with his work. Linehan is the creator of Father Ted and the IT Crowd, among other comedy shows. And in the wake of the attacks against JK Rowling, he is the latest high-profile person to have been targeted by the mob for speaking out on the issue of transgenderism.

Over the weekend, Linehan was booted off Twitter. His apparent crime? To tweet the words: ‘men aren’t women tho’. His post, in response to a message from the Women’s Institute wishing their transgender members a happy Pride, was too much for Twitter. Now Linehan has been permanently suspended, it would seem, for saying among other things words that the majority of people would surely agree with.

How exactly Linehan broke Twitter’s rules remains a mystery. He told me that he received a notice saying that he had been suspended, along with an email from Twitter saying that ‘hateful conduct’ would not be tolerated. In Linehan’s own words, this is ‘odd (given) the thousands of examples of misogynistic abuse sent to JK Rowling (that) are still up.’

While Linehan may have taken a provocative stance on gender, the debate surrounding the rights of women and children is serious and needs to be brought out into the open. As Professor Kathleen Stock commented, ‘Graham Linehan shouldn’t have been banned from Twitter. He doesn’t put things sensitively, he’s p***** people off, but he’s also done his best to stick up for women against encroaching trans activism. For which he has paid disproportionately. Cowardly blue ticks walk on by.’

Cowardly blue ticks being politicians, policy makers, and others who choose to say nothing when critical voices are bullied into silence. The bullying in this case has come from a mob. The pressure is relentless and insidious, but also ludicrous.

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