Issue of the day: Mrs Brown’s Boys star dismisses ‘woke’ critics

Love it or hate it, Mrs. Brown’s Boys is a smash hit on the BBC. Now creator and star Brendan O’Carroll has dismissed critics who called the sitcom “transphobic”.

If you haven’t tuned in, you might be surprised to learn that the Irish TV sitcom is a ratings phenomenon, with a fanbase not just in the UK and Ireland, but across Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Jamaica, proving hugely successful for the BBC since its launch in 2011. Produced in the UK by BBC Scotland, the show is filmed at Pacific Quay in Glasgow in front of an audience live and can attract up to 11 million viewers in Britain alone.

The premise?

Irish actor, comedian and writer O’Carroll plays Irish matriarch Agnes Brown, with several close friends and family members making up the cast, including his real wife, Jennifer Gibney, playing Mrs. Brown’s daughter, Cathy. The show sees loudmouthed Agnes meddle in the lives of her six children, with colorful language and slapstick comedy.

And what are the critics saying?

TV critics were never on board, but the sitcom won favor with audiences, seeing O’Carroll and the show itself win a number of awards over the years, including Best Comedy. at the National Television Awards five times.

But what are the other reviews saying?

O’Carroll, 67, has been accused of “transphobia” for his portrayal of the Irish matriarch and also of cultural appropriation for his decision to take on the role, rather than cast an actress. Comments on social media range from “Shouldn’t Mrs. Brown’s boys be canceled on the grounds that they are transphobic?” to “Mrs. Brown’s Boys are transphobic trash”.

And what does O’Carroll say about his detractors?

In an interview with The Sun, he said, “I don’t think about them, I write the show I write. I never think of myself as a man playing a woman, when Mrs. Brown comes on stage, she’s a woman. He added: “Where do you draw the line? Is it okay for Leonardo DiCaprio to play a carpenter or do we get a carpenter? Shouldn’t we choose the best person for the job? »

Somewhere else?

Fans backed O’Carroll, writing on Facebook: “The world has gone mad with all the woke ideas. Stand up for Brendan and do a show about woke idiots,” and another adding, “What about all the drag performers of centuries past?


O’Carroll’s autobiography Call Me Mrs Brown is out on October 13, while filming for this year’s festive episodes takes place in Glasgow later this month. Fiona O’Carroll, Brendan’s real-life daughter who plays Mrs. Brown’s stepdaughter on the show – said that in addition to the Christmas specials, new episodes will air in 2023. She added : “We have the concert in November at the SSE Arena in Belfast and the 3Arena in Dublin. And we are planning more theater dates for next year.”