Sheffield City Council supports controversial decision to axe Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown show

Sheffield City Council has defended Sheffield City Trust in its decision to axe controversial comic Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown’s show at the City Hall next year.

Monday, 6th September 2021, 12:50 pm

Complaints from concerned residents resulted in Sheffield City Trust removing Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown’s show from the City Hall’s programme of events.

Thousands have signed a petition - currently at over 24,000 signatures - to get the show reinstated, and there are now plans for a protest later this week.

Councillor Terry Fox, leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “The decision to remove Roy Chubby Brown’s show from the schedule at Sheffield City Hall was made by Sheffield City Trust, an independent charity that is not controlled by Sheffield City Council. We continue to support their position because, as we said at the time, we don’t feel that the nature of the show reflects our city’s values.

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Roy 'Chubby' Brown's show in Sheffield has been axed (Photo: Getty)

“However, we do recognise the strength of feeling that this has stirred up and we knew that some people would be disappointed with SCT’s decision and with the council for supporting it.

“Having said that, we stand by our position in supporting SCT. As a diverse city, a City of Sanctuary, with multicultural, accepting and welcoming communities, we do not feel that a show containing homophobic, racist and sexist ‘humour’ has any place in a publicly funded venue in Sheffield.

“We are not suggesting that Roy Chubby Brown, or similar events should be banned from Sheffield, but the crucial thing here is that the City Hall is supported by council funding, therefore public money, so we support and stand by the Trust’s decision.

“If, however, the show was to go ahead at another venue in Sheffield that wasn't supported by council funding, that would be for the independent venue to balance with their own values.

“We understand from Sheffield City Trust that this was a historic booking made before the pandemic and subsequently re-scheduled. As we stand here today in 2021, tolerance for discrimination of any kind is not acceptable.

“Going forward, Sheffield City Trust has assured us that they will consider whether acts are appropriate before bookings are taken, and we encourage them to review their policies on bookings that may present views that contradict their charitable objectives; ultimately the decision lies with the Trust and the SCT Board of Trustees.”

Roy 'Chubby’ Bown has previous said: “I am not homophobic, racist or sexist - I’m just a comedian telling jokes.”

The comedian, who was due to perform in Sheffield, in January 2022, said in a recent Facebook post: “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?”

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