The Melbourne Comedy Festival has dropped Barry Humphries name in The Barry award following his outrageous comments about the LGBTI community.
Humphries, who made his fame and fortune dressed as a women with his Dame Edna character, called transgenderism “a fashion” and said, “how many different kinds of lavatory can you have? And it’s pretty evil when it’s preached to children by crazy teachers”.
Comedy Festival director Susan Provan says the comments are not the main reason from stripping the comedy superstar’s name from the award but told 3AW, “Barry’s recent comments did not help. We have been talking about doing this and the possibility of changing for quite sometime and this contributed”.
The award will be known as the Melbourne International Comedy Award.
“Our festival is growing and we have a very wide constituency. We have a lot of women. Why shouldn’t it be something that represents everybody,” Susan said.
He is a legend but we feel like we want to move on and have something that represents the broader range of the Festival.
“Barry’s comments obviously came into play and they moved things along about. Barry’s comments were hideous. It is good that our awards have a name that any person within the festival and can comfortable about.
While the Comedy Festival has stood up to a homophobe, the name Margaret Court Arena still remains in place more two years after vile comments by tennis champion Margaret Court.
Court said she would no longer fly Qantas because she opposed same-sex marriage. In a very pyblic letter to a Perth newspaper she wrote, “I write this as an open letter to the Qantas board and Alan Joyce as the Senior Pastor of Victory Life Church in Perth.
“As you will know, I have represented Australia many times and have the proud record of never losing a tennis match while playing for my country.
“I am disappointed that Qantas has become an active promoter for same-sex marriage”.
The management of Margaret Court Arena at this stage has rejected calls for a name change.