Menu

InstagramTwitterYouTubeFacebookSnapchat
Globe Icon

Join

and support
LGBT+ journalism

Current Affairs

People think age is no excuse for homophobia

Nick Duffy August 1, 2018
BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: John Cleese attends the 55th Rose d'Or Award at Axica-Kongress- und Tagungszentrum on September 13, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Clemens Bilan/Getty Images)

John Cleese. (Clemens Bilan/Getty)

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.”

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 21: In this handout photo, Fawlty Towers creator and co-writer, John Cleese, introduced the media to Stephen Hall, who will play the role of Basil Fawlty and Blazey Best as Sybil Fawlty in the world premiere tour of Fawlty Towers-Live on stage at Park Hyatt Hotel on March 21, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. Details of the full cast will be announced soon. (Photo by James Morgan/Getty Images)
Cleese used the slur while complaining he wasn’t allowed to use it (James Morgan/Getty)

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.

Monty Python star Terry Gilliam recently hit out at efforts to increase diversity, renouncing his status as a white man to become “a black lesbian in transition.”

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.”

British-US director Terry Gilliam (L) waves as US actor Adam Driver looks on during a press conference on May 19, 2018 for the film "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" at the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. (Photo by Laurent EMMANUEL / AFP) (Photo credit should read LAURENT EMMANUEL/AFP/Getty Images)
Terry Gilliam with actor Adam Driver (LAURENT EMMANUEL/AFP/Getty)

The British actor said: “It made me cry: the idea that… no longer six white Oxbridge men can make a comedy show.

“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.”

British-US director Terry Gilliam poses on May 19, 2018 during a photocall for the film "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" at the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. (Photo by Loic VENANCE / AFP) (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)
Terry Gilliam (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty)

“[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”.

More: john cleese, Monty Python, poll, terry gilliam, YouGov

Click to comment

Swipe sideways to view more posts!

Dismiss

Loading ...

Close icon