Comedian Barry Humphries is an Australian icon.
But many didn’t see the funny side when he described Caitlyn Jenner as a “mutilated man”.
Legendary Australian transgender entertainer Carlotta has joined the chorus of criticism, labelling Humphries “a stupid old man”.
“I got very cranky,” an angered Carlotta said on Studio 10.
“I can’t believe he came out with this statement. He doesn’t really understand transgenders — he’s a female impersonator,” she added.
“That is what Dame Edna is. He’s just a stupid old man coming out saying things like that.”
The term “mutilated man” particularly riled Carlotta.
“All I can say is, I never got mutilated. I’ve been totally and beautifully manicured. And unlike Barry, my Tupperware doesn’t leak,” she said.
Humphries, 81, had earlier defended comments by Australian feminist Germaine Greer who said that transgender woman such as Jenner were men “who believe that they are women and have themselves castrated”.
He told the London Daily Telegraph that he agreed with her, saying: “I agree with Germaine! You’re a mutilated man, that’s all.
“Self-mutilation, what’s all this carry on? Caitlyn Jenner – what a publicity-seeking ratbag.
“It’s all given the stamp – not of respectability, but authenticity or something. If you criticise anything you’re racist or sexist or homophobic.”
Well known transgender actress Rebecca Root, star of popular BBC Two sitcom Boy Meets Girl, was also disappointed.
“If he retracts the statement I’d say he’s said sorry, and move on. But if he does a Germaine Greer, I’d say he’s gone too far …
“It’s rather disappointing for me as I’ve always liked Barry Humphries, and I’ve seen Dame Edna on stage,” she said.
“The fact is that this sense of humour resonates with the bad old days of Bernard Manning and Jim Davidson; dinosaurs from the 1970s.
“It’s very retrograde, and I hoped we’d moved on from it.”