Terry Gilliam has weighed in on the BBC diversity debate by joking that he wants to be known as a “black lesbian” since white men are “blamed for everything wrong in the world.”
The director made the comments during a press conference at the 2018 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, where he was introducing his new movie “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.”
Gilliam was responding to a question about comments made by controller of BBC comedy commissioning Shane Allen last month, who said a show like “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” wouldn’t make it to air today because it lacks diversity.
“If you’re going to assemble a team now, it’s not going to be six Oxbridge white blokes,” Allen said, referring to the iconic comedy troupe of which Gilliam was a member. “It’s going to be a diverse range of people who reflect the modern world.”
“I’m no longer a white man, I’m a black lesbian,” Gilliam said in response, according to Czech publication iDNES (via Another Gaze). “But seriously, it’s really crazy. In the BBC, it is true that every little group of people on this planet must be represented in everything they broadcast.”
Gilliam stated, however, that the Pythons met the diversity quota, explaining that “of the six Monty Python members one was gay and one American. Only later did I accept British citizenship, fortunately before Brexit.”
He went on to reveal that Allen’s comments made him cry and expressed his anger over the idea that no longer can six white comedians come together to create a comedy show.
“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***.”
“I no longer want to be a white male,” he continued, “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.”
He added: “[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.”
Fellow Python member John Cleese reacted to Allen’s comments last month, tweeting, “We were remarkably diverse FOR OUR TIME… We had three grammar-school boys, one a poof, and Gilliam, though not actually black, was a Yank. And NO slave-owners.”
Gilliam’s “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival back in May and is hoping to secure a U.S. distributor.