New Zealand’s government wizard is going to wish there was a spell to get rid of this one.
The country’s official wizard, Ian Brackenbury Channell, has been fired after he reportedly made some off-color remarks about hitting women.
Channell, 88, has been paid a government salary of about $10,000 ($16,000 AUD) each year since 1998 to perform magic-like acts to help promote Christchurch. He told the New Zealand outlet Stuff that he was being “canceled” for being a “provocateur.”
“They are a bunch of bureaucrats who have no imagination,’’ he said. “They are not thinking of ways to promote Christchurch overseas. They are just projecting an image of bureaucrats drinking lattes on the boulevard.”
The city ended its contract with Channell to allow them to go a modern route with their tourism.
Channell made some remarks about women in April during a comedy show that he would “never strike a woman because they bruise too easily.”
“I love women, I forgive them all the time, I’ve never struck one yet. Never strike a woman because they bruise too easily is the first thing, and they’ll tell the [neighbors] and their friends… and then you’re in big trouble,” he said at the time.
Council spokeswoman Lynn McClelland revealed to the Guardian on Friday that they sent Channell a thank-you letter for his service and told him they were ending his contract, adding that he will “forever be a part of [Christchurch’s] history.”
Channell added to Stuff that he will continue his magical duties no matter what. “I will still keep going. They will have to kill me to stop me,” he said. “It’s just they [the council] don’t like me because they are boring old bureaucrats and everyone likes me and no one likes them.”
He arrived in New Zealand in 1976 and was asked to keep performing in 1990 by Prime Minister Mike Moore.
“I am concerned that your wizardry is not at the disposal of the entire nation,” Moore wrote in his letter to Channell, according to a Guardian report. “I suggest therefore that you should urgently consider my suggestion that you become the Wizard of New Zealand, Antarctica and relevant offshore areas … no doubt there will be implications in the area of spells, blessings, curses, and other supernatural matters that are beyond the competence of mere Prime Ministers.”