Roy 'Chubby' Brown responds to Sheffield City Hall show being axed as thousands sign petition to get it reinstated
Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown has responded to his show at Sheffield City Hall being axed, saying he feels ‘disappointment and sadness’ about the decision.
The comedian gave his reaction in a lengthy Facebook post on Tuesday, August 31 – five days after Sheffield City Trust, which runs the venue, confirmed the scheduled performance was being pulled from next year’s calendar following complaints.
The controversial 76-year-old comic spoke out as a petition launched to get his act reinstated passed the 4,500-signature mark.
He said: “At first I had a sense of anger and disbelief but on reflection I now feel just disappointment and sadness with the decision and the way things are going generally.
“I have been performing at the City Hall annually for the last 30+ years and have always had great nights there and a wonderful working relationship with the management and the staff at City Hall, and my fans have always come along and supported me in their thousands through the years.
“Now in these strange times of snowflakes and political correctness it has been decided that I am no longer welcome.
“Why now is my question. WHY NOW is my show unsuitable after 30 years at the City Hall?”
He added that he understood the content of his show ‘isn’t to everyone’s taste’ but said the publicity clearly states ‘IF EASILY OFFENDED, PLEASE STAY AWAY!’.
The comedian, whose real name is Royston Vasey, continued: “For the people in trusts/councils who make these decisions, all I can say is that you were voted into your positions by your local communities to act on the people's behalf and with their best interests at heart, not to use your position to force your own private views/opinions and decide what people can and can’t do or can and can’t watch. Surely that is for the people to decide that voted you in.”
The comedian was due to perform at City Hall in January 2022, with the show having already been rescheduled due to the pandemic.
Announcing the decision to cancel the gig, Sheffield City Trust’s chief executive, Andrew Snelling, said ‘we don’t believe this show reflects Sheffield City Trust values’.
He added: “We understand that some people will be disappointed with our decision but we must uphold the standards and values that we promote and expect across our venues.”
Councillor Terry Fox, leader of Sheffield City Council, said the council ‘wholeheartedly’ supported the decision as the content of the show was ‘unlikely to reflect Sheffield’s inclusive values’.
Haley Madden started a petition four days ago calling for the comedian to be allowed to perform in Sheffield, and as of 9.30pm on August 31, it had been signed 4,551 times.
The petition states: “Yes, some of the comedian’s material may not be to everyone's taste but my view (like many others around) is simple: if you don't like, don't go and watch.
“Not only does Mr Vasey do stand-up comedy, he also has raised various amounts for different charities all over the UK.
“Like the rest of us, this man HAS to make a living and Mr Vasey being on stage is how he makes his.”