Graham Linehan, free speech champion, has threatened me with legal action unless I delete a tweet and apologise. Here’s the apology:

I apologise for calling Graham Linehan a vile bigot. Never having met him, I have no idea if he is vile, and it was wrong of me to say so. >
I further apologise for suggesting that no publishing company should help Linehan publish his hate speech.
It was wrong of me to single him out that way. No publishing company should help anyone publish hate speech.
The original tweet is now deleted. I hope this satisfies.
If you fancy chucking in for any future legal fund, you could do worse than subscribe to my Substack.…

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More from @PennyRed

12 Sep
The use of books as a way of signalling, or the idea that ‘I’ve read more books than you’ is a way to get one over on someone else, has always disturbed me.
I really think having or even reading lots of books ought to be morally neutral. Books are great, but I know people who are highly intelligent, knowledgeable and well-educated who prefer other ways of learning and other forms of storytelling.
I say that as someone who reads an unusually large number of books, and I don’t love to make my reading history public. I don’t want people to know what I’m reading or when. It’s special and private!
Read 5 tweets
29 Aug
When I was 14 years old, I saved my pocket money to go and see a writer I admired give a talk. I couldn’t afford to buy the book as well (I was 14). I shyly asked if he would sign my notebook instead.
He rolled his eyes and told me to get lost.
That’s how I met #DouglasCoupland.
Many years later, I was lucky enough to find out for myself just how stressful book tours can be. Writers don’t have infinite social energy. And yes, it IS annoying when people don’t get that you’re there to sell books.

But Mr Coupland taught me an important lesson that day >
The lesson was: this is part of the work, and you are damn lucky to get to do it. You never know what any interaction with a reader might mean to them, or what someone’s going through. Even if you’re totally burned out you try to at least say a relevant sentence.
Read 5 tweets
25 Aug
Hear me out on this.
Made on a budget of no more than five hundred pounds, most of which goes to hiring the coloured smoke machine.

Mother Superior as Panto Dame: ‘ooh, young man- put your hand in my box!’
Half the cast have to play the Pantomime Worm. It’s made of crepe paper and fluff and is amaaaazing.
Read 6 tweets
20 Aug
Unpopular opinion: leave Lena Dunham the fuck alone.
Too many people who should know better have seen this woman as fair game for the most sadistic bullshit ever. The fact that there has been legitimate criticism over the years doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been a fuck of a lot of sexism, internalised misogyny and body-shaming.
I’ve utterly had it with friends, and friends of friends, telling me ‘I hate Lena Dunham and I don’t even know why, she makes me sick.’ Maybe you ought to think about why you feel that way.
Read 14 tweets
25 Jul
Right-wingers are now using the language of anti-rape and pro-choice activism to justify vaccine refusal- talking about the importance of consent, personal autonomy, and ‘my body, my choice’.

But the two issues are NOT ethically the same. Not at all. And this is why. >
Feminists have long argued for women and AFAB people’s essential right to decide what happens to our own bodies- that nobody should be able to force us to have sex we don’t want, or to carry a pregnancy and give birth against our will. >
> and over the centuries this has often been a minority view- the moral consensus was that compared to their duty to service men sexually and birth the next generation, women’s autonomy did not matter. Many conservative communities still believe this, openly or implicitly. >
Read 10 tweets
30 Jun
The question of how to balance different peoples’ needs in public spaces is important. It’s being had in bad faith right now, by people who want to make the case for excluding minority groups- but it speaks to something important that lots of communities are considering.
As we become more connected, as difference becomes more visible and distance is truncated, our ability to impact one another is outstripping the current infrastructure we have to care for and protect one another. We don’t have good heuristics for balancing different needs.
And often- too often- a request that a particular group or person be accommodated is interpreted as a demand that other, potentially conflicting needs be sidelined. That’s just not true.
Read 13 tweets

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