Theatre company Selladoor has cancelled a planned show starring Ann Widdecombe after the politician claimed science might one day “produce an answer” to being gay.
The Brexit Party MEP was due to appear at Selladoor’s Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe in March next year. However, David Hutchinson, the chief executive of Selladoor, said this had been cancelled in light of Widdecombe’s comments.
He tweeted that he had been “disgusted” by Widdecombe’s comments, which she made during an interview on Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, and said the company would never provide a stage “for these vile people”.
Absolutely disgusted at Ann Widdecombe’s comments over the weekend. Took no time in immediately cancelling her planned ‘evening with’ event at one of our @SelladoorVenues. We will never provide a stage for these vile people.https://t.co/IpcU7y90e6
— David Hutchinson (@DaveHutchinson_) June 3, 2019
Hutchinson told The Stage that the show was programmed before Widdecombe announced she would stand as an MEP for the Brexit Party.
“Following her disgusting gay therapy comments over the weekend, my programming team and I immediately decided to cancel the scheduled event, as we flatly refuse to offer a stage to someone who wishes to promote such vile opinion,” he said.
He added: “We welcome everyone in the community to our theatres, and operate a fully inclusive and respectful approach to programming. We don’t seek to prevent discussions where there might be differences in opinion – but in this case, there is no discussion to be had. Ann’s comments are divisive, disrespectful and foolishly ignorant.”
Hutchinson said statements like this “promote and fuel discrimination” and said: “We will not be complicit in providing a stage to air such views.”
Earlier this year, Seyi Omooba left a production of The Color Purple she was due to star in after anti-gay comments she made on Facebook came to light.