Comedian loses UConn gig after comments on transgender toddler
- Comedian Owen Benjamin was recently disinvited from a planned appearance at the University of Connecticut after he made controversial comments about transgenderism on social media.
- Benjamin called NPR host Jesse Thorn a "child abuser" for allowing his three-year-old child choose their own gender, prompting the Student Union Board of Governors to cancel his speech.
A comedian has been disinvited by the University of Connecticut (UConn) after making controversial comments about transgenderism.
Owen Benjamin, a comedian and actor who explicitly describes his comedy as “PG-13,” recently tweeted a YouTube clip from a campus lecture he delivered in which he responded to a question about transgenderism by singling out NPR host Jesse Thorn as a child abuser because he has openly allowed his now-five-year-old child to be transgender.
“You are supporting a 3 yr old child in diapers choosing gender which will lead to hormone blockers. Publicly I want this noted,” Benjamin repeatedly tweeted in response to critics.
As a result, UConn informed Benjamin that his planned comedy show would be cancelled, calling his comments “increasingly negative in sentiment.”
“[The Student Union Board of Governors] does not believe that this comedian will garner the attendance of undergraduate students on the night of the event,” states an email sent to the student organization hosting Benjamin. “SUBOG has a mission of bringing acts that will cater to the undergraduate student it serves, and they would like to go in another direction in October.”
“Just lost 7500 dollars for my views on transgender children,” Benjamin responded, tweeting a screenshot of the email.
A spokeswoman for the university confirmed the email’s contents with Campus Reform, saying that the university “respects Mr. Benjamin’s free speech rights, along with our student group’s right to determine who it wishes to host on campus,” and adding that “the contract’s cancellation clause is being honored and he will receive his appearance fee.”
“I don't wanna put them on blast cuz they may also be pissed this happened,” Benjamin told Campus Reform, referring to the student organization set to host him.
“Since they contacted me directly to do the show they probably enjoy my comedy,” he explained. “I'm just upset at the PC political environment that makes these people silent.”
He went on to note that “thousands of people started attacking” him online after he posted the initial video, calling their attacks “vicious and unjustifiable.”
“I kept responding and not backing down. I warned them that the abuse of children makes people very angry and they may wanna rethink their stance. The next day I got a letter from the school that booked me canceling my show,” he recalled, saying he’ll still “do colleges,” but only if he’s booked “by groups that support free speech and basic human decency.”
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