Monty Python's Terry Gilliam criticises BBC’s diversity plans: 'I tell the world now I’m a black lesbian'

'Comedy is not assembled, it’s not like putting together a boy band'

Jack Shepherd
Thursday 05 July 2018 10:40 BST
Shane Allen discusses his role of Controller of Comedy Commissioning at the BBC

Film director Terry Gilliam has responded to the BBC’s latest diversity measures, saying: “I no longer want to be a white male... I tell the world now I’m a black lesbian.”

The BBC recently unveiled its new comedy programming commitment to telling “stories that haven’t been told” and bringing “the voices we haven’t yet heard” to screen and radio.

When giving a press conference on the new measures, controller of comedy commissioning Shane Allen was questioned about Monty Python, answering: “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.”

John Cleese was the first Python to respond, calling the group “remarkably diverse for our time” on Twitter. Gilliam has followed suit, saying Allen’s response made him cry.

“It made me cry: the idea that… no longer six white Oxbridge men can make a comedy show,” the director told a crowd at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival following a screening of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, according to The Guardian.

“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.”

Gilliam concluded: “[Allen’s] statement made me so angry, all of us so angry. 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.”

The famed animator recently courted controversy after commenting on the #MeToo movement and “mob rule”, lending support to Matt Damon. Hollywood responded angrily.

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