Terry Gilliam has responded to the unveiling of the BBC’s new comedy programming, which, according to the BBC’s controller of comedy commissioning Shane Allen, aims to commit to ‘the stories that haven’t been told and the voices we haven’t yet heard’.
During a press conference about the new sitcoms and shows, Allen was asked about Monty Python’s Flying Circus. “If you’re going to assemble a team now, it’s not going to be six Oxbridge white blokes. It’s going to be a diverse range of people who reflect the modern world,” he replied.
Terry Gilliam has now spoken out about the comments during a press conference at the Karlovy Vary film festival, where he was screening his new film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.
“It made me cry: the idea that … no longer six white Oxbridge men can make a comedy show,” he said. “Now we need one of this, one of that, everybody represented… this is bullshit. I no longer want to be a white male, I don’t want to be blamed for everything wrong in the world: I tell the world now I’m a black lesbian… My name is Loretta and I’m a BLT, a black lesbian in transition.”
“[Allen’s] statement made me so angry, all of us so angry,” he continued. “Comedy is not assembled, it’s not like putting together a boy band where you put together one of this, one of that everyone is represented.”
Monty Python’s John Cleese previously responded to the comments, tweeting: “Unfair! We were remarkably diverse FOR OUR TIME … We had three grammar-school boys, one a poof, and Gilliam, though not actually black, was a Yank. And NO slave-owners.”
BBC's Head of Comedy puts Monty Python's lack of originality down to a surfeit of education and racist bias
Unfair ! We were remarkably diverse FOR OUR TIME
We had three grammar-school boys, one a poof, and Gilliam, though not actually black, was a Yank. And NO slave-owners
— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) June 20, 2018
Meanwhile, Men Behaving Badly could return to screens after Neil Morrissey revealed that the cast of hit ’90s comedy Men Behaving Badly are all willing to take part in a reunion series.