Comedian John Cleese was attacked on social media after doubling support for JK Rowling through transphobic tweets. Photo / Getty Images
Comedian John Cleese has been accused of transphobia after he admitted that he was “not so interested” in transgender rights.
The Monty Python star is facing a negative reaction after she announced on Twitter that she had signed a letter of support for Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling and her views on transgender issues.
“Deep down, I want to be a Cambodian police woman. Is that allowed, or am I unrealistic?” he answered those who asked why he could not “just allow people to be who they want to be.”
Asked if he acknowledged that Rowling had made “some rather vague statements about people who identify differently,” Cleese said, “It depends on who I identify with today …”
“I’m afraid I’m not so interested in trans people,” he admitted when he was pressured to “be ahead” of his views on Rowling’s controversy.
“To do [that] sounds hard-hearted? “he asked.”
He later complained that critics demonstrated a “complete lack of perspective” as well as a “complete lack of sense of humor”, asking: “Have you heard the joke yet?”
Cleese later admitted that “understanding is superficial,” but wrote, “When a woman who was once a man competes against women who have always been women, I think she has the advantage because she inherited a man’s body, which is usually bigger and stronger.” than women.
“Does this prove a phobia?” he asked his critics.
His fans were outraged by the statements.
“Oh, man. I’ve been a fan of Monty Python and some of your work for years, and it’s so sad to see you take such a painful stance on this issue,” one tweet wrote.
“People who are being bullied are being attacked and despised on all sides, and instead of supporting and uplifting? Are you saying that?”