People think age is no excuse for homophobia
Someone’s age makes no difference to whether it’s acceptable for them to use homophobic slurs, polling has found.
YouGov commissioned the polling after Monty Python star John Cleese used a homophobic slur during a live BBC radio interview.
Asked about diversity, Cleese, 78, had said: “Graham Chapman… I’m not allowed to use the word p**f, am I? – what have I got to say?
“Graham was homosexual and also dead. So that’s a certain amount of diversity.”
He also joked that “Terry has decided he’s a black lesbian”, referring to comments made by fellow Python Terry Gilliam.
Some had argued that Cleese should not have the words be held against him because of his age – but polling shows the public does not agree.
The YouGov poll shows that just 24 percent of people believe it is “more forgivable” for an elderly person to use a racial, sexist or homophobic slur.
63 percent believe their age makes no difference, while 8 percent believe it is less forgivable.
The results were surprisingly even across demographics, though men were more likely to find it forgivable than women.
Cleese’s comments were branded “embarrassingly ghastly” following the interview, while some questioned why BBC host Nick Robinson did not take a stronger line against it.
The 77-year-old actor was responding to the BBC’s controller of comedy commissioning, Shane Allen, who last month answered a question about Monty Python’s Flying Circus by saying: “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.”
The British actor said: “It made me cry: the idea that… no longer six white Oxbridge men can make a comedy show.
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“Now we need one of this, one of that, everybody represented… this is bulls**t.
“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.”
“[It makes] me 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.”
Gilliam, who has directed films including Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, previously compared the #MeToo movement to “mob rule”.