Skip to main content

Self-Appointed TERF Leader’s Book About How Silenced He Is Attracts Disappointing Endorsement

Richard Ayoade in The IT Crowd (Channel 4)

Richard Ayoade is a beloved comedian. There’s no doubt about that. But this post will contain no jokes, beyond maybe a feeble, “Oh, looks like they’ve found a new cast member for the depressingly inevitable Hogwarts Legacy 2.” I was a huge fan of his, but turns out he wasn’t the person I thought he was. (A depressingly familiar thing with celebrities.) What the heck happened?

Well, Ayoade’s one-time co-worker on The IT Crowd, anti-trans activist Graham Linehan, has written a book about how silenced he is. Wait, there’s the joke! And Ayoade has, to the sadness of his fans, provided a glowing quote for the cover. Didn’t know that Linehan was writing a book? Neither did most people until yesterday, because, according to publisher Dan Hiscocks:

“We’ve deliberately not announced this project until the book was at the printer’s because we wanted people to be able to judge it on its own terms, based on what it actually says, rather than to make snap judgements based purely on speculation. We’re confident that many of Graham’s critics will be very pleasantly surprised.”

I doubt it.

Richard Ayoade’s endorsement

Linehan’s book is called “Tough Crowd: How I Made and Lost a Career in Comedy” and Ayoade’s endorsement reads in full, according to the book’s Amazon page, “Graham Linehan has long been one of my favorite writers—and this book shows that his brilliance in prose is the equal to his brilliance as a screenwriter. It unfolds with the urgency of a Sam Fuller film: that of a man who has been through something that few have experienced but has managed to return, undaunted, to tell us the tale.”

A few other celebrity TERFS and “anti-woke” folk—Jonathan Ross, Andrew Doyle, Helen Joyce—have also showed up to provide puff quotes for Linehan. But none of those endorsements are shocking (remember Ross’s history of homophobia and misogyny?), yet Ayoade’s is sadly very much so. Thanks to his roles in shows such as The Mandalorian, and the legion of Doctor Who fans who wanted him to play the Doctor one day, he’s been a beloved geek icon for years. It’s so bitterly disappointing, as many social media users will attest to.

Graham Linehan’s self-pity tour

Perhaps nothing sums up the current state of Linehan’s career better than this great cartoon by Barry Deutsch:

The self-pity tour is never-ending. Linehan is determined to cast himself as a victim no matter what, even when his smug face constantly peers out from newspapers, magazines, and social media feeds. The blurb for his book claims Linehan was canceled “when he championed an unfashionable cause,” but this is wrong, because transphobia is coldly, disgustingly, horrifically fashionable right now.

To wit: Linehan isn’t actually the head TERF; he only wants to be, because it puts him in a position of power over both the trans and cisgender women that he clearly hates. The actual leader of the movement in Britain is J.K. Rowling—sorry, Linehan, I know you must hate that, too—and she’s still a billionaire, still getting work, still “fashionable.” Meanwhile, transphobia is relentless and it is destroying lives.

The “Tough Crowd” endorsement from Jonathan Ross reads, “One of the best TV comedy writers of all time delivers a book which is a must-read for anyone who has ever wondered: a) how to create a hit sit-com and b) how it feels to lose everything.” But the funny-not-funny thing is …

Linehan hasn’t lost everything, not remotely. He still has platforms and power, and now we can see he has a group of very influential friends as well, including Ayoade. You know who actually did lose everything? Brianna Ghey and her family.

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer with The Mary Sue who has been working in journalism since 2014. She loves to write about movies, even the bad ones. (Especially the bad ones.) The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Star Wars prequels changed her life in many interesting ways. She lives in one of the very, very few good parts of England.