John Cleese has spoken out about the state of the entertainment industry, saying that people have grown accustomed to "deliberately waiting for the thrill of being offended."
The comedian made his remarks while slamming people who he referred to as "wokes" for stifling creativity and humor during an interview with Reason.com.
"You think of an idea and you immediately think: Oooh, is that going to get me into trouble? Well, that person last Thursday got away with it. But all that stuff immediately stops you being creative," he said.
Cleese added that context was an important consideration when it comes to creative works, which need to have space for irony and sarcasm to be understood.
"The woke people, I think, miss something quite badly," he explained. "The meaning of a word depends on its context. If I use sarcasm, then what I'm meaning is the opposite of the words I'm actually saying. If you don't get irony, then if you take it seriously, you completely misunderstand the intention of the writer or speaker."
The "Monty Python" star has been vocal about his views on woke culture. Last year he caused controversy after canceling an appearance at the University of Cambridge, saying he is ''blacklisting myself'' after a visiting speaker was banned for having done an Adolf Hitler impression — something which Cleese had done years back on the sketch comedy series ''Monty Python's Flying Circus."
''I was looking forward to talking to students at the Cambridge Union this Friday, but I hear that someone there has been blacklisted for doing an impersonation of Hitler,'' Cleese wrote in a tweet in November.
The actor was referring to art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon, who the Cambridge Union said would not be invited back.
''I regret that I did the same on a 'Monty Python' show, so I am blacklisting myself before someone else does,'' he added.
In a follow-up tweet, Cleese wrote, ''I apologise to anyone at Cambridge who was hoping to talk with me, but perhaps some of you can find a venue where woke rules do not apply.''
And, responding to a tweet from a fan saying he would like to meet Cleese, the ''Monty Python'' star suggested he hire a ''sizeable room and invite people on condition that I don't have to walk on eggshells.''
Zoe Papadakis ✉
Zoe Papadakis is a Newsmax writer based in South Africa with two decades of experience specializing in media and entertainment. She has been in the news industry as a reporter, writer and editor for newspapers, magazine and websites.
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