Australian satirist Barry Humphries, known for his TV drag persona Edna Everage has died.
The BBC reported that Humphries had been in hospital in Sydney, Australia, and had been suffering from complications following surgery in March.
A statement from Humphries’ family read in part,
He was completely himself until the very end, never losing his brilliant mind, his unique wit and generosity of spirit.
With over 70 years on the stage, he was an entertainer to his core, touring up until the last year of his life and planning more shows that will sadly never be.
The characters he created, which brought laughter to millions, will live on.”
But after a lifetime of funny, and supposedly a friend of the LGBTQ community that also loved him, Humphries in his old age was not the ally he appeared to be.
In 2016, Humphries defended the philosopher and writer Germaine Greer, who described transgender women as
men who believe that they are women and have themselves castrated.”
Humphries agreed with Greer, mentioned Caitlyn Jenner as part of the discussion. He told The Telegraph,
I agree with Germaine! You’re a mutilated man, that’s all. Self-mutilation, what’s all this carry on?”
He told The Sunday Times Magazine three years later,
Edna carefully said she thought that men who had themselves castrated did not become women, and that got taken the wrong way.”
In a 2018 interview with The Spectator he also claimed that being trans was a fashion,
How many different kinds of lavatory can you have?
And it’s pretty evil when it’s preached to children by crazy teachers.”
I saw Dame Edna Live on Broadway and it was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. In the 80s, she appeared as host of The Tonight Show with guests Joan Rivers, Joan Collins and George Hamilton. She turned to the three and said,
Joan, Joan George, don’t ever consider plastic surgery, it’s really much too expensive.”
Dame Edna made jokes often at other people’s expense, like Joan Rivers, and was funny af. But Barry’s trans comments were not funny, they were cruel and backward.
A very funny man, who made mainstream audiences laugh in drag is gone.
Barry Humphries was 89.
Barry Humphries: Dame Edna Everage comedian dies at 89 https://t.co/QKI7v5jPrI pic.twitter.com/m6IMTrGsRJ— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) April 22, 2023
(Photos, YouTube; via PinkNews)