John Cleese has been accused of transphobia after joking that he’d like to be a Cambodian policewoman in a series of tweets in defense of Harry Potter author JK Rowling.
The British comedian, 81, issued numerous reprimands against fellow Twitter users on Sunday after one of them posted a tweet from Cleese on Sept. 30 in support of Rowling, 55, who was repeatedly accused of transphobia.
The September post read, “ Dear Twits, I added my name to the letter signers in solidarity with JK Rowling, ” before listing a number of other household names who signed the letter, including authors Ian McEwan and Lionel Shriver .
On Sunday, a user shared a screenshot of the post, asking Cleese, ‘Why can’t you just let people be who they want to be?
British comedian John Cleese has become enraged on Twitter over a joke he made in supporting author JK Rowling, who has often been accused of transphobia [File photo]
In response to a Twitter user who asked Cleese why he couldn’t leave people to live their lives the way they wanted, the comic replied: Deep down, I want to become a Cambodian policewoman. Is that allowed or am I unrealistic? The comment annoyed many fans
Do you really think there is a deep conspiracy to turn people ‘against their genders’? Or do you like [Rowling] as a person and therefore there is nothing that can do them wrong? Probably lately, ”the user wrote.
Monty Python’s co-creator replied, ‘Deep down, I want to become a Cambodian policewoman.
“Is that allowed, or am I unrealistic?” He wrote.
Several Twitter users were upset by the comment that they said downplayed the experiences of transgender people.
One wrote: “You are simplifying a very complex subject here.”
Cleese’s comments on Sunday came in response to a Twitter user who posted a Sept. 30 Tweet from the comedian stating he signed a letter in support of Harry Potter author JK Rowling
‘Transgender people are being attacked and invalidated from every angle, and instead of being supportive and uplifting? You say this, ”wrote another.
While some followers disapproved of Cleese’s comment, saying it would alienate his trans-fans, others came out in defense of the famous comic.
Watching some people’s meltdown in this thread … It’s clearly a joke. He is a comedian. Keep a grip, folks, ”wrote one Twitter user.
After reaching out to several outraged Twitter users, Cleese acknowledged that his understanding of gender identity was ‘shallow’ and admitted that he was ‘not that interested in transgender people’ as he tried to focus the conversation on issues he said that he was “more focused.” On’.
He cited “threats to democracy in America, rampant corruption in the UK, the horrific British press, the revelations of police brutality …” as one of his more pressing concerns.
After reaching out to several outraged Twitter users, Cleese acknowledged that his understanding of gender identity was ‘shallow’ and admitted that he was ‘not that interested in transgender people’ as he tried to focus the conversation on issues he said that he was “more focused.” On’
The letter in support of JK Rowling came after the author faced massive criticism for her many controversial comments about transgender people.
Rowling, a self-proclaimed feminist who insists she is not transphobic, is only blamed for comments that critics say discriminate against transgender women by excluding and separating their concerns from other issues of women’s rights.
This summer, controversy erupted around Rowling’s position on transgender issues after she made new allegations of transphobia by criticizing the phrase ‘people on menstrual periods’.
” People who menstruate. ‘I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone is helping me. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud ?, ” she wrote on Twitter in response to an op-ed that used the phrase.
It’s considered more inclusive than simply saying ‘women’, as Rowling seemed to prefer, because cisgender women aren’t the only people who menstruate.
The author further explained her point of view, saying, ‘If sex isn’t real, there is no same-sex attraction.
“If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women worldwide will be erased,” she wrote, adding “It’s not hate to tell the truth.”
The idea that women like me, who have been empathetic to transgender people for decades, feel kinship because they are vulnerable in the same way as women – that is, to male violence – ‘hate’ transgender people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is nonsense. ‘
‘I respect the right of every trans person to live life in a way that feels authentic and comfortable. I would march with you if you were discriminated against for being transgender.
‘At the same time, my life has been shaped by being a woman. I don’t think it’s hateful to say that. ‘
Rowling, 55, scoffs at comments that critics describe as insensitive at best and ‘transphobic’ at worst. Rowling, who describes herself as a feminist, has always maintained that she is not transphobic. Pictured: Rowling attends the 2017 BAFTA awards in London
Rowling’s comments disappointed many fans, who accused the writer of misunderstanding the distinction between sex – which is biological – and gender – which is not, and excluding transgender women from gender equality issues.
The author later caused a stir by including a man who dressed as a woman as the murderous villain in her latest addition to her Strike detective series, which she writes under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
Cleese, who played Hogwarts ghost Almost Headless Nick in the first two Harry Potter films, has previously said he was ‘baffled’ by the backlash against Rowling.
However, other cast members, including Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, have made their support for transgender people clear in the wake of Rowling’s comments.
“Transgender people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they are not who they say they are,” Watson tweeted this summer.
In a post for LGBTQ + suicide prevention charity The Trevor Project, after Rowling’s tweets were posted, Radcliffe wrote:
‘Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against any advice given by professional health associations that have far more expertise in this field than Jo or I, ” he wrote, referring to JK Rowling – whose first name is Joanne – under her nickname.
“ Obviously, we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities or cause further damage, ” he wrote, apologizing to “ all people who now feel that their experience has been with the books. affected or reduced ‘.
“I’m very sorry for the pain these comments have caused you.”