Hannah Gadsby has won the prestigious Barry Award for the most outstanding show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, but used her acceptance speech to speak out against comments made by Barry Humphries, for whom the award is named.
Gadsby was named the winner at the final Festival Club at Max Watt’s late on Saturday night, for her critically-acclaimed show, Nanette.
Gadsby said that while she respected Humphries’ comedic skill, she disagreed with much of what he’s said. Humphries made headlines early last year when he referred to Caitlyn Jenner as “a mutilated man“.
She said: “I don’t agree with a lot of the things Barry Humphries has said recently. It is not something I will walk past. With full respect, I would like to accept this award just for me.”
This is the second year the Barry Award has been won by a lesbian comedian whose show takes on bigotry, after Zoe Coombs Marr won in 2016 for Trigger Warning.
Gadsby also used her speech to thank the festival for providing spaces for more diverse voices:
“Thank you to the festival very much because I doubt I would do stand-up comedy without this festival and the situations they set up. I don’t have the constitution. I wouldn’t have fought it out in a pub.
“This festival has done a lot to encourage different voices so thank you for the support.”
Nanette deals with Gadsby’s experiences with homophobic abuse, and touches on several kinds of bigotry. Gadsby has said it’s her final ever stand-up show, and is doing an encore performance on Saturday, April 29 at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre.