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21st Jan 2019

Petition to Remove Graham Linehan From RTÉ Debate Gains Over 4,000 Signatures

Kiara Keane

Father Ted creator Graham Linehan is facing backlash for his inclusion in an upcoming Prime Time debate on transgender issues.

The RTÉ One show will examine “the exponential growth in the number of young people seeking to change gender, and the implications of the proposed new law allowing them to do so without their parents’ consent”.

In a clip from the upcoming episode due to air on Tuesday, Linehan says, “You do not tell kids that they’ve been born into the wrong body just as you don’t tell anorexics that they are fat.”

A petition to remove his piece from the programme has since been launched and currently has more than 4,500 signatures. His inclusion has also prompted complaints to both RTÉ and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

The description on the petition reads, ‘Graham Linehan is not a medical expert and he is not transgender.

‘He has frequently expressed transphobic views in public and has used his social media platform to denigrate transgender people – so much so that he was visited twice by the UK police in relation to his online behaviour.

‘He has also advocated against a charity that supports gender non-conforming children and their parents.’

A spokesperson for RTÉ said that “ten contributors representing a broad range of views are interviewed” and that they are “confident that viewers will find the programme to be a fair and responsible examination of an issue of considerable public importance”.

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