Free Speech Union writes to Lancaster council leader over Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown show cancellation

The Free Speech Union has written to Lancaster City Council leader Caroline Jackson over the council's decision to cancel the Roy 'Chubby' Brown show in Morecambe next month.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Thursday, 21st July 2022, 3:26 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st July 2022, 4:13 pm

As we reported earlier this month, the controversial comedian, 77, was due to perform at the council-run Platform venue in August but the show was cancelled after 59 people signed a petition calling for the council to ban the performance.

Those supporting the petition accused Mr Brown of being “racist, homophobic, and misogynistic”, and Lancaster City Council chief executive Mike Davies was in agreement.

Announcing his decision to ban Mr Brown, he 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.”

Roy 'Chubby' Brown.

More than 2,000 people later signed a petition demanding the show be reinstated – with many accusing the authority of censorship.

The Free Speech Union have now said it was "disappointing" that the show had been cancelled.

General secretary Toby Young said: "Surely, if some people find Chubby Brown's comedy offensive, they have the option of not buying tickets?

"Why should those who enjoy his humour not be allowed to see him perform just because some people don't like his jokes?

"As it says on his website: 'If easily offended please stay away!'

"At the FSU we take no view on Chubby Brown's comedy routine, just as we do not advocate for specific points of view.

"However, we do believe strongly that unless laws are being broken, as opposed to some people finding something distasteful, members of the general public are mature enough to make up their own minds on what they wish to watch, read or listen to.

"To deny them this opportunity would be a breach of their right to free specch, as well as Chubby Brown's right to freedom of expression.

"I strongly encourage you to reverse your decision so that the people of Morecambe can decide for themselves whether his set is worth the ticket price or not."

Lancaster City Council did not wish to comment further on its earlier decision.