Monty Python's John Cleese: 'I'm Not That Interested in Trans Folks'

By Michael W. Chapman | November 24, 2020 | 4:24pm EST
John Cleese, comedian, actor, author. (Getty Images)
John Cleese, comedian, actor, author. (Getty Images)

Monty Python alumnus and long-time British comedian John Cleese sparked a row on Twitter because he signed a letter in defense of author J.K. Rowling, who has defended biological sex -- male and female -- and criticized some aspects of the transgender "identity" movement. In a recent response, Cleese tweeted, "I'm afraid I'm not that interested in trans folk."

Both Cleese and Rowling have made clear that they do not dislike transgender persons or wish them harm. Cleese himself tweeted, "I just hope they're happy and that people treat them kindly."

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, one of the most successful series in publishing history. (Getty Images)
J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, one of the most successful series in publishing history. (Getty Images)

However, both of them, among several other celebrities, such as Germaine Greer and Martina Navratilova, have made clear that there are definitive biological sexes, genetically male or female, and social problems surface when that basic science is ignored. 

For instance, in a Nov. 22 tweet to Cleese, a person wrote, "Why the f**k can't you just let people be who they want to be? Do you actually think there is some deep conspiracy to turn people 'against their genders'?"

Cleese, sarcastically replied, "Deep down, I want to be a Cambodian police woman Is that allowed, or am I being unrealistic ?"

In another Nov. 22 tweet, a person wrote to Cleese, "can we just admit that Ms. Rowling (whom I admire, very much) has made some rather indelicate statements regarding those people who identify differently?"

Cleese replied, "That depends who I identify with today..."

When asked, "I'm not psychic, so why don't you be upfront and tell us your thoughts on JKR's position on trans folks," Cleese replied, "I'm afraid I'm not that interested in trans folks I just hope they're happy and that people treat them kindly."

"Right now I'm more focussed on threats to democracy in America, the rampant corruption in the UK, the appalling British Press, the revelations about police brutality," said Cleese. 

Commenting on the politically correct, or "woke" elements in British society who are criticizing his views, Cleese tweeted:

"Woke joke. A production of 'Macbeth' may [be] cancelled because the man playing the lead revealed that he had never actually killed anyone. Convicted murderers are now being sought. Otherwise they will have to stage Chekhov's Three Sisters, who will be Inuit, Thai and Samoan."

In another Nov. 22 tweet, Cleese said that his understanding of the transgender issue is "superficial." 

He then wrote, "One thing: When a woman who was once a man is competing against women who have always been women, I think she has an advantage, because she inherited a man's body, which is usually bigger and stronger than a woman's Does that prove phobia?"

As for J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, she has been denounced by many liberals and LGBT activists.

In response to a commentary entitled "Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate," Rowling tweeted on June 6, "'People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

After much criticism that day, Rowling further tweeted, "If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth."

"[M]y life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so," Rowling further tweeted. 

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