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John Cleese is still talking about trans people while once again missing the glaringly obvious

Josh Milton November 25, 2020
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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)

John Cleese is once again asking questions about trans people and this man really needs to learn how to Google or talk to a trans person.

The Monty Phyton star, 81, faced backlash last week for tweeting that he “identifies” as a “Cambodian police woman” – a joke seen by many as mocking and derisive of the trans experience.

In response, and despite saying that he is “not that interested” in trans people just days ago, Cleese took aim at his critics Tuesday afternoon, tweeting: “When I tweet about trans matters, I often ask questions.

“They are never answered. Why is this the case?”

Cleese has often claimed ignorance over his anti-trans comments in the past. When JK Rowling’s explosive trans tirade seized Britain earlier this year, the actor said he was “baffled” by the debate, again asking for a “genuine request for information”.

But both then and in his tweets last week, an array of trans community leaders, advocacy groups and allies all sought to educate Cleese, as much as he said “they never answered”.

They did to his query in June.

And they did again in November.

“Are the people who hate me stuck on trans-mit?” Cleese continued.

“New question: If people who disagree with you are ‘haters’, does this simply imply they are ‘haters’ for disagreeing with you[?]”

John Cleese: Ironclad defender of JK Rowling often leaves trans people fatigued

Rowling had spent years issuing opaque comments or gestures on trans rights that her followers uneasily shrugged off – the odd ‘liked’ tweet here, a follow there – until she issued blunter, lengthier comments dubbed by activists as “threat to LGBT+ people” earlier this year.

Cleese has emerged as a high-decibel supporter of the Harry Potter author. He signed a letter, published in The Sunday Times in September, “in solidarity” with the writer, with other signatories ranging from disgraced comedy writer Graham Linehan to several figures of the LGB Alliance, an anti-trans pressure group in Britain.

When one follower questioned his ironclad support, telling him he was taking a “huge step backwards” that would allow the author the “continue hurting others”, Cleese shrugged off the criticism.

“I suspect that the signatories I am proud to be associated are far more balanced and intelligent than the people whose slogans you chant. Sad,” Cleese replied.

Related topics: JK Rowling, john cleese, Trans, transphobia, UK

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