Legendary British comedian John Cleese is sick of cancel culture. The “Monty Python” star has a new documentary series called “Cancel Me,” where he questions why the new woke generation is trying to censor everyone, even for harmless jokes.
“Cancel Me” will “set forth into the minefield of cancel culture to explore why a new ‘woke’ generation is trying to rewrite the rules on what can and can’t be said.” The series will speak to activists attempting to cancel people as well as victims of cancel culture, including some famous faces, according to Variety.
“I’m delighted to have a chance to find out, on camera, about all the aspects of so-called political correctness,” the 81-year-old Cleese said. “There’s so much I really don’t understand, like: how the impeccable idea of ‘Let’s all be kind to people’ has been developed in some cases ad absurdum.”
“I want to bring the various reasonings right out in the open so that people can be clearer in their minds what they agree with, what they don’t agree with, and what they still can’t make their mind up about,” the “Fawlty Towers” star explained.
Danny Horan, who oversees documentaries on U.K.’s Channel 4, said the network welcomed the show “because we felt we needed to address [cancel culture] somehow and [Cleese has] very strong views on that.”
“I think there’s a lot of things to address in that series that he is very keen to understand what happened and why it’s happened,” Horan said. “And of course, you know, he was a comedian for the last few decades who had a lot of comedy [some of which now] feels outdated so he’s questioning some of that as well. So I think it’d be really interesting. It’s an area that he’s exploring.”
Earlier this month, a fan asked Cleese if proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test was required to see his upcoming comedy tour, to which the comedian snarkily replied, “No, you just need a certificate promising that you have not attended specifically to be offended.”
Cleese personally experienced cancel culture in November 2020, when social justice warriors accused him of “transphobia” for supporting author J.K. Rowling.
After being hit with a barrage of insults and accusations that he was transphobic, Cleese retaliated by saying, “If you can’t control your own emotions, you’re forced to control other people’s behavior That’s why the touchiest, most oversensitive and easily upset must not set the standard for the rest of us.”
Comedians are generally not big fans of cancel culture. Chris Rock warned that cancel culture leads to boring entertainment. Billy Crystal said canceling people over their words has made comedy a “minefield.” Dave Chappelle reminded everyone that “no one can be woke enough.” Comedian Jon Lovitz likened cancel culture to McCarthyism. Stand-up comedian Bill Burr joked that the outrage mob has run out of people to cancel and has resorted to canceling dead people.