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International Comedy Festival Removes Barry Humphries (Dame Edna) Name From Award Over Transphobia

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival said its prestigious Barry Award for best show would be renamed.

Humphries, best known for his character Dame Edna Everage, has repeatedly drawn anger and outrage for his comments about transgender people – to which he later defended himself.

His remarks had “definitely played a part” in the change, the festival said.

Humphries co-founded the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 1987, and it is now one of the world’s premier comedy events. Its top prize has been named in his honor since 2000.

In one comment in which Humphries claimed to have been speaking in character when referred to gender-reassignment surgery as “self-mutilation” in a 2016 interview with The Telegraph. He also described Caitlyn Jenner as a “publicity-seeking rat-bag”.

Humphries has also called being trans a ‘fashion’ in the past

Previous winners of the Barry, including Hannah Gadsby and Zoe Coombs Marr, called for the award to be renamed after he made the above comments.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact: Will@Back2Stonewall.com

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