Protest at RTÉ over Graham Linehan appearance on Prime Time

Protest at RTÉ over Graham Linehan appearance on Prime Time
Supporters & members of the Transgender community protesting at RTE Studios. Picture: Gareth Chaney Collins

A protest is taking place outside RTE's studios in Dublin over the appearance of Graham Linehan on tonight's Prime Time programme.

The Father Ted co-creator is set to feature in a segment on transgender issues which will focus on the increasing number of young people looking to change gender.

Graham Linehan
Graham Linehan

Almost 6,000 people have signed a petition calling for his appearance to be cancelled as he is not a medical expert on the issue.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Irish Times this week Mr Linehan said he was sceptical of “early affirmation” of transgender; self-identification of transgender; and “the actions of some activists, which will stop those genuinely needing help from getting it”.

RTÉ reports that around 50 activists were at the studio this evening

Ellen Murray from Transgender Equality Network Ireland does not feel Linehan's opinions should be given a national platform.

"Trans people in Ireland enjoy widespread support from women's organisations, from human rights organisations and right across the political spectrum," said Ms Murray.

"The arguments that this particular guest brings up are just not grounded in facts, in research or in experiences of trans people on the ground."

Mr Linehan told the Times on Monday that: "I don’t think I’m saying anything controversial. My position is that anyone suffering from gender dysphoria needs to be helped and supported."

In October 2018, it was reported that Mr Linehan was given a verbal harassment warning after being reported by a transgender activist over social media comments.

West Yorkshire Police spoke to the writer and told him to cease contacting Stephanie Hayden, who he has rowed with on Twitter.

Ms Hayden reported him for “transphobia” after he referred to her as “he” and for “deadnaming” her by referring to her by names used before she transitioned.

Mr Linehan told the Press Association at the time: “The police asked me to stop contacting someone I had no intention of contacting.

“It was a bit like asking me to never contact Charlie Sheen.”

Labour LGBT released a statement today saying they are "concerned the producers of the RTÉ PrimeTime programme airing this evening have decided to go ahead with a programme on Trans Youth, despite the clear calls not to do so by those who are directly concerned with the welfare of young Trans people and their families in Ireland."

The group believes "the programme-makers have failed in their duty of care to consider the impact of the programme’s promotion has already had on young Trans people."


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