A Wigan comic is being investigated by police after he posted a vile online video demanding that gay people be made to empty residents’ bins.
“Bitter and twisted” Jimmy O - aka Jimmy O’Neill - posted the video earlier this week, attacking the council for spending “thousands” on the LGBT+ community. Police are now probing the clip as a possible hate crime after it was reported by Wigan Council.
The blacklisted comedian, who has already been barred from various community centres due to the nature of his material, has defended the footage insisting that it is “not homophobic” and that he is saying what “other people are thinking”.
But a ripple of anger has swept across the borough following the video, sparking a backlash from Wigan Council, members of the LGBT+ community and social media users, one of whom described Mr O’Neill as “talentless and full of anger”.
In the clip, believed to have been filmed at the stand-up’s Scholes flat, O’Neill rants that the local authority cannot afford to “empty the bins” but can help fund Wigan’s pride festival.
He then uses a vile, sexual slur against the LGBT+ community.
Council chiefs recently moved to a three-weekly bin collection. The authority did provide some launch funding to Pride and BYOU+, a Wigan LGBT+ group, but does not now directly fund the festival.
Instead, organisers apply for council-run community grants to help pay for resources. The festival is also funded through sources including donations from local businesses and supporters.
Thousands attended a series of festival event, with Wigan-raised Hollywood superstar Sir Ian McKellan stealing the show this year.
A member of the LGBT+ community and organiser of the Wigan Pride festival has told the Post that the group is “tired” of being attacked by Jimmy O.
Wigan Pride co-founder Jess Eastoe said: “This is not the first time. He has said lots, homophobic and racist. We are getting worried, he is finding things to pick at the LGBT+ community.
“We are all getting tired. We are trying to deal with it in the background so that it doesn’t affect members of the community. It’s a shame because he is quite misguided in his thoughts.
“He genuinely believes that money is coming straight from the bin collections and going to the LGBT+ community. He started this when we first did Wigan Pride.
“He is using this platform to spread hate.”
Jess has said that the time has come for the “outdated” material, which has seen Jimmy O blacklisted from certain comedy circles and banned from community venues, to stop once and for all.
“Our main concern is that the LGBT people are vulnerable,” Jess added. “We can find a positive from this though. People are very much against his views.
“It’s very outdated and he is bringing the community support if anything.
“He is very much single-minded. We are promoting the strength in unity and diversity. There are diverse people and it’s fine to be diverse, we want to support everyone’s strengths.”
Wigan’s council leader Donna Hall has hit out at O’Neill.
However, when contacted by the Post, outspoken Jimmy insisted he is not homophobic.
“I’m surprised it has been reported,” he said. “I cannot believe the length people will go to. It’s my take on things which has been blown out of proportion.
“The council is crying poverty, it can’t afford to empty the bins, so I want to know why Wigan Pride gets policing.”