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Dame Edna Comedy Award to Be Renamed After Transphobic Comments

Dame Edna

Dame Edna, the alter ego of drag performer Barry Humphries, has been making audiences laugh for decades with her over-sized cat-eye glasses and her love of gladiolas. But following remarks Humphries made in which he called trans women “mutilated men,” a prestigious comedy award named in his honor, is getting a new name, according to BBC News.

While the Melbourne Comedy Festival organizers have not announced what the award’s new name will be, they have said it will no longer hand out the Barry Award to up-and-coming comics and that Humphries's anti-trans comments “definitely played a part” in the decision.

Humphries came under fire for his anti-trans statements in 2016, and after blowback, apologized. But he has since expressed other transphobic sentiments, including saying just last year that identifying as transgender is “a fashion.”

Humphries, who was 81 at the time of the 2016 remarks, was agreeing with noted trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF) Germaine Greer when he said of trans women, “You’re a mutilated man, that’s all. Self-mutilation, what’s all this carry on? Caitlyn Jenner — what a publicity-seeking ratbag.”

“I don’t know anything about politics. But the far left is so conservative, paradoxically, inflexible, doctrinaire and humorless," Humphries continued. "You can’t describe the world as it is anymore. You get jumped on. I’m happy to say I do. I give offense therefore I am. Not too much offense, though." 

Humphries helped found the Melbourne Comedy Festival in 1987 and the award was named in his honor in 2000, according to the BBC.

Fellow Australian Hannah Gadsby, whose Netflix special Nanette was a breakout success last summer, was given the Barry Award in 2017.

"I don't agree with a lot of the things Barry Humphries has said recently," she said while accepting the award. "It is not something I will walk past. With full respect, I would like to accept this award just for me."

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