"Utterly ridiculous": Karen Dunbar hits back at Witsherface homophobic smear claims

All-women comedy group a centre of ‘homophobia’ controversy performed at Scottish Independence Convention event

THE ALL WOMEN comedy group Witsherface, who performed a comedy stint in which Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson was portrayed as a rap alter-ego called ‘Dykey D’, has responded to critics who say the act was homophobic.

The controversial depiction appeared as part of a series of risqué sketches by the group depicting various Scottish political matters in an irreverent light. One sketch portrayed a rap battle between a series of Scottish women political leaders including Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, SNP MP Mhairi Black, Davidson and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

As part of a joint statement by the group, which was formed in part to provide a platform for often overlooked women comedians, sketch co-writer and former Chewin’ the Fat sketch show star Karen Dunbar – who co-wrote the sketch – called the controversy “utterly ridiculous”.

Comedian Karen Dunbar, who co-wrote the controversial sketch

She said: “As a gay woman who has experienced horrendous homophobia, I feel confused that anyone could interpret anything in the rap as being homophobic. If my work has offended anyone it was not my intention. My sole purpose with this sketch was to create a comic rap about our current female political leaders. Any accusation that myself or Witsherface is homophobic, is utterly ridiculous!"

The performance was part of a range of talent on show at the relaunch of the Scottish Independence Convention (SIC) which also included comedy from Janey Godley and music by Eddi Reader.

The whole performance by Whitsherface can be viewed from 52:00

A small section of the rap battle routine caused uproar among some social media users and was republished across several media outlets.

Colin MacFarlane of gay rights group Stonewall Scotland told the BBC: “Calling someone a dyke is homophobic. If it goes unchallenged it gives the green light for others to follow suit.”

The comedy group said in its statement that it considered politicians “always fair game when it comes to comedy”.

A statement said: “Witsherface has set out to create a platform for young comedians and actresses to cut their teeth and get experience to get into the business. We are immensely proud to see our main political parties led by women. They are great role models for young women coming up and we extend an open invitation to all of our politicians, to all of our future gigs.

“The messages of criticism and outrage have been interesting to say the least.

“We would ask that people have a good think before they attack and we would also request that everyone’s sense of humour returns. When did Scots lose the ability to take a gentle ribbing and have a good laugh at themselves. Politicians, whatever their colour or creed are always fair game when it comes to comedy. ‘Twas ever thus, and should remain so in a healthy society.’”

Picture courtesy of Facebook

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