Up to 3,000 fans sign petition demanding Roy Chubby Brown gig goes ahead after council axed show following outrage from just 59 people
- Roy Chubby Brown was supposed to be doing a comedy show in Morecambe
- But when 59 people complained about the upcoming gig, the council stepped in
- It decided to cancel the show, infuriating Roy Chubby fans across the resort
- Now a counter-petition has been signed by 3,000 people wanting it back
A petition signed by 59 people which prompted a council to axe a Roy Chubby Brown gig has been overtaken by one inked by 3,000 fans urging its reinstatement.
The controversial 77 year-old – whose real name is Royston Vasey – was due to perform at the Lancaster City Council-run Platform Theatre in Morecambe.
But the August 19 show was axed after 59 people signed a petition demanding councillors ban it.
Lancaster City Council chief executive Mike Davies said they agreed shows by the X-rated star were not ‘compatible’ with their values of being a ‘fair, diverse and inclusive organisation.’
But now a new petition has soared to over 3,000 signatures calling for the right to free speech – and demanding the council reinstate the show, stressing the comedian’s charity work and adding: ‘If people don’t like him then move on * don’t ruin it for other people.’
And hundreds have left messages of support saying that a few dozen people complaining should not stop the comedian’s fans enjoying seeing him perform – while Brown’s tour manager Ritchie Hoyle blasted the cancelling of the show as ‘ridiculous’.
Angry James Anderson wrote: ‘Don’t like it, don’t go. This is enforced censorship.’
Roy Chubby Brown poses during a photo shoot on November 12, 2009 in Scarborough, England
A council-operated venue, The Platform, informed the comic’s team that the decision had been made to axe his August show
While Paul Hughes-Stainsby penned: ‘I live in Morecambe. Why should the council spoil the fun. Chubbs is what he is. His shows are always sold with a warning. If easily offended then please stay away. It’s personal choice not a council decision.’
Jacqui Harnett said: ‘It’s ridiculous that 59 people complain about this comedian, now hundreds are prevented from seeing him. The 59 are not forced to buy tickets to see him.
‘This again is cancel culture gone mad. Treat people like adults and let them choose. Morecambe Council don’t you have anything better to do?????’
Supporter Sharon Hopewell admitted she was not even a fan of Roy Chubby Brown – but defended his right to free speech and to perform in front of his fans, adding: ‘He shouldn’t be cancelled because a few people don’t like him.. I’m not a fan but I will stand up for his right to put his show on!’
Duncan Ian remarked: ‘I saw Chubby many years ago. Was he rude? Yes. Was he hateful? NO! Let the man work, and if you don’t want to hear him, don’t buy a ticket.’
Ken Drinkwater stressed: ‘Let the haters hate. There will be no comedy left soon.’
Mandy Butterworth said: ‘It’s terrible taking away people’s choice. I’d never choose to see Chubby Brown as I personally don’t like his material and do find him offensive, my choice for me, but I’d never want to stop someone else from going if it was their choice to do so.’
Lucy Clare agreed: ‘By being ‘inclusive’ you’ve just ‘excluded the people who want to go to the show?
Comedian Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown has already had one show pulled this year in Colne, also in Lancashire
The cancellation of his upcoming show in Morecambe (pictured) is the second of the year
‘I personally don’t like Chubby Brown therefore I won’t buy a ticket however I like having the choice to decide if I want to go or not.. I think it’s time people started fighting back now or where will this stop?’
And irritated Sue Heartfield pointed out to the council: ‘You are not being fair, diverse or inclusive by cancelling him. You are contradicting your values. Censorship is wrong.’
Those supporting the original petition – which has since slightly increased from 59 supporters when the council axed the gig to 80 supporters now – accused Brown of being ‘racist, homophobic, and misogynistic’.
Announcing his decision earlier this week to ban Brown, council leader Mr Davies said: ‘We understand this decision will disappoint some people, but we are proud to be a fair, diverse and inclusive organisation and do not believe Mr Brown’s shows are compatible with these values.’
The Platform is a council-owned 350-seat venue set in the town’s old Edwardian railway station platform building opposite the iconic resort’s promenade.
But despite the ‘freedom of speech’ backlash Mr Davies, appointed to the £121,800-a-year role in March, has refused to back down or do a U-turn.
When asked about the accusations of censorship, a spokesman for Lancaster City Council said: ‘We don’t have anything to add to the statement which was provided yesterday.’
The Council also declined to explain why it booked the famously offensive comedian to perform at its theatre in the first place.
But others have defended the underfire Council leader and welcomed his decision to axe the show.
Lizzi Collinge, County Councillor for Lancaster East, said: ‘I welcome Lancaster City Council’s decision to not host Royston Vasey, aka Roy Chubby Brown, at the Platform in Morecambe.
‘He uses foul racist and sexist language and uses humour to normalise these racist and sexist ideas, which contribute to people actually feeling unsafe in our community.
‘Mr Vasey and his management seem to confuse the right to free speech with the right to be given a stage to speak from.
‘This performer is happy to make a living by attacking whole groups of people in his performances but cries foul and acts like a victim when he’s challenged on what he says.
‘The City Council is well within its rights to withdraw the use of the Platform when a performer so clearly contradicts its values.’
It is not the first time the stand-up has been embroiled in a number of rows over his shows, and venues in Swansea, Nottinghamshire and Sheffield have cancelled performances previously.
In 2019, the boss of the Town Hall in Brown’s hometown of Middlesbrough stood down when its mayor overturned a ban, while in Sheffield, 28,000 people signed a petition calling for his show to be reinstated.
Writing on Facebook, Mr Hoyle said in criticising Lancaster City Council, he felt like he was ‘playing the same record over and over again’.
He said the council ‘in their wisdom’ had decided to listen to those who signed the petition against the show, thereby ‘ignoring the thousands who support Chubby’s right to perform’.
‘All I can do is apologise, but it’s out of our hands,’ he said, adding that the decision meant ‘woke culture wins again, I’m afraid’, adding: ‘The world’s gone mad.’
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