“Spineless” Venues Ōtautahi cancels Graham Linehan booking

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Mar 12, 2024 |

Irish comedy writer Graham Linehan, co-creator of popular TV comedies such as ‘Big Train’, ‘Father Ted’, and ‘The IT Crowd’, has faced a “last-minute” cancellation of his scheduled event at Christchurch City Council-owned venue, Hagley Oval.

He was scheduled to appear at the Oval, operated by Venues Otautahi, on March 19th.

Over the past five years, Linehan has publicly voiced his concerns about gender identity ideology, arguing it poses risks to women’s rights, and could lead to vulnerable children undergoing unnecessary medical procedures.

Free Speech Union, who’s brought Linehan to New Zealand has promoted the writer as “a staunch advocate for free speech, using his to speak for those who he believes aren’t often able to speak for themselves.”

Free Speech Union’s Jonathan Ayling told The Platform they contacted the council to secure Hagley Oval three weeks ago, and the booking was secured two weeks ago.

No payment had been made yet, as the practice was to settle the invoice post-event.

Despite having signed the contract and receiving booking confirmation, a sudden call from Venues Otautahi’s Commercial Director, Danny Schroder, announced the inability to accommodate the event due to a “busy March” schedule.

Venues Otautahi’s Commercial Director, Danny Schroder told The Free Speech Union March was fully booked up, despite granting the Hagley Oval venue for Graham Linehan’s talk.

Ayling criticised the abrupt cancellation as detrimental to business practices and an action that reinforces the motives of those in favour of cancel culture, branding the decision as “spineless.”

Chris Lynch Media has approached Otautahi’s Commercial Director, Danny Schroder for comment.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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