Matt Berry has shared his thoughts on a controversial episode of The IT Crowd many deemed transphobic.
Commenting on ‘The Speech’, an episode from 2008 in which Berry’s character Douglas dates a transgender woman and breaks up with her after discovering she is trans, the actor has now said the episode looks “ridiculous and dated”.
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In an interview with Vulture, Berry went on to distance himself from the episode’s writing, which came from Father Ted creator Graham Linehan.
“I don’t condone anything that that comedy portrayed, you know?” Berry said of the episode in question. “I don’t share any views that the writer has.”
— Jack King (@jackarking) October 25, 2021
Linehan subsequently emailed New York Magazine after the publication of Berry’s interview, saying he is not “anti-trans” and arguing that he is protecting “women’s rights and spaces”.
‘The Speech’ was removed from All4 by Channel 4 last year, at which point Linehan wrote that the decision was “an attack on my right to freedom of speech” on his blog.
“I’m entirely serious when I say that Channel 4 is banning the episode for religious reasons,” he went on. “‘Transwomen are women’ is a statement of belief, which I do not share. Channel 4 are behaving disgracefully by participating in this insult to women.”
Elsewhere, Matt Berry’s Victorian-era sitcom Year of the Rabbit was cancelled earlier this year, despite previously announced plans for a second season.
Year of the Rabbit starred Berry as a detective in Victorian London fighting crime alongside his partner played by Freddie Fox, and the UK’s first female police officer, played by Susan Wokoma.
Berry wrote the sitcom alongside Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil, who also worked on Veep.