Barry Humphries, the performer behind Dame Edna Everage, has doubled down on past transphobic comments and praised Trump in a new interview.
Speaking to the British arm of conservative magazine The Spectator, Humphries speaks of his fondness for the frequently gender-defying art of cabaret while accusing trans activists of “terrible rat-baggery”.
“And it’s pretty evil when it’s preached to children by crazy teachers.”
“They had their genitalia chopped off and tucked in and whatever they had to do,” he said, after recalling the time he labelled trans people “mutilated”.
“And that aroused a lot of indignation – probably among the people who’d spent a lot of money having it done. But I don’t think I’m right to pontificate. I’m really an actor.”
“I agree with Germaine [Greer]. You’re a mutilated man, that’s all. Self-mutilation, what’s all this carry-on?” Humphries said in 2016, prompting frustration from the trans community.
In the interview, the writer asks Humphries if he thinks US President Donald Trump has cribbed something from another of his characters, Sir Les Patterson.
“No, I don’t think so. I’m grateful to Trump for stirring up politics. And I won’t be joining any marches against him.”
Humphries ends the interview discussing the process of ageing. “Little things start to fail,” he said.
“I acknowledge Barry Humphries is an artist, performer and entertainer, but that doesn’t mean he’s an expert on transgender issues,” Transgender Victoria executive director Sally Goldner said of Humphries’ past comments.
“I’ll go on my gut instinct that he thinks any publicity is good, like his friend Germaine, that any headline is good.
“His remarks are hateful and promote vilification.”