The director of ‘12 Monkeys’ and ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’, Terry Gilliam, called the #MeToo movement a “witch hunt” and lamented how sensitive people have become with his brand of humor.
In these strange modern times, even a liberal director like Gilliam can end up sounding like a conservative voice. In an interview with the Independent promoting his film ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’, which has been in various states of production for 20 years, Gilliam gave his blunt thoughts on everything from disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein to possibly identifying as a black lesbian.
Speaking about #MeToo cases, Gilliam said despite there being real victims, the movement was driven by a mob mentality.
“Yeah, I said #MeToo is a witch hunt,” Gilliam said.
I really feel there were a lot of people, decent people, or mildly irritating people, who were getting hammered. That’s wrong. I don’t like mob mentality. These were ambitious adults.
The director said many who came forward should have taken more responsibility for their situations as he believes a female character who works as a model and escort does in his new film.
“We’re living in a time where there’s always somebody responsible for your failures, and I don’t like this. I want people to take responsibility and not just constantly point a finger at somebody else, saying, ‘You’ve ruined my life.’”
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Speaking on the topic of producers like Harvey Weinstein, who faced dozens of sexual assault and sexual harassment accusations that kicked off the #MeToo movement, Gilliam said no one should be surprised about the things that were happening in Hollywood. He even revealed that he was once propositioned by a “well-known actress” for a part in one of his movies.
I don’t understand why people behave as if this hasn’t been going on as long as there’ve been powerful people. I understand that men have had more power longer, but I’m tired, as a white male, of being blamed for everything that is wrong with the world.
Gilliam also doubled down in the interview on a statement he made last year proclaiming to be a black lesbian. While the “revelation” was meant to be a joke mocking modern identity politics, ‘woke’ crowds did not see the humor – and neither did Gilliam’s latest interviewer.
“I’m talking about being a man accused of all the wrong in the world because I’m white-skinned. So I better not be a man. I better not be white. OK, since I don’t find men sexually attractive, I’ve got to be a lesbian. What else can I be? I like girls. These are just logical steps,” he said. “I’m just trying to make you start thinking. You see, this is the world I grew up in, and with Python, we could do this stuff, and we weren’t offending people. We were giving people a lot of laughter.”
On the subject of “giving people a lot of laughter” though, the filmmaker seems to believe there is little benefit to being the offensive comedian in today’s bubble-wrapped culture.
People work so hard to be offended now. I don’t know why I’m doing it. It’s not fun anymore.
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