“Monty Python” star and British comedy legend John Cleese has lashed out at the press in recent days for allegedly reporting that he will be removing a politically incorrect scene from future adaptations of his movie “Life of Brian” to avoiding offending the trans community.
In recent statements on Twitter, Cleese claimed that a reporter had “misreported me” when claiming the entertainer was planning to cut the famous “Loretta” scene for an upcoming stage adaptation of the classic religious satire film.
He corrected the reports, claiming that he was merely illustrating what others had advised him to do with the potentially controversial scene. He declared he has “no intention” of removing it.
The scene in question features a male character from the 1979 British comedy telling his associates that he wants to be woman named “Loretta” and demands the right to bear a child. Flabbergasted, Cleese’s character in the film tells the man that the notion is ridiculous, while another male colleague offers that they all merely advocate for his right to childbearing as a symbolic way of standing up to “oppression.”
“I want to be a woman… It’s my right as a man,” the character claims in a scene obviously played for laughs. He adds, “I want to have babies… It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them.” After Cleese’s protest, the character snaps, “Don’t you oppress me!”
Several days ago The Daily Mail reported that the scene from the classic movie “had to come out” of the script for a future adaptation, according to the comedian.
The British outlet cited Cleese’s comments he gave at a recent show noting the controversy of the scene. Describing a recent read-through of “Life of Brian” with several actors, he said, “At the end, I said to the American actors: ‘What do you think?’ And they said: ‘We love the script, but you can’t do that stuff about Loretta nowadays.'”
He added, “So here you have something there’s never been a complaint about in 40 years, that I’ve heard of, and now all of a sudden we can’t do it because it’ll offend people. What is one supposed to make of that?”
While the outlet and others reported that as evidence the scene would be cut, Cleese hopped on Twitter to clarify that his comments were just a reiteration of what he was advised, not what he had done, or intended to do.
He wrote, “A few days ago I spoke to an audience outside London. I told them I was adapting the Life of Brian so that we could do it as a stage show (NOT a musical ). I said that we’d had a table-reading of the latest draft in NYC a year ago and that all the actors – several of them Tony winners – had advised me strongly to cut the Loretta scene. I have, of course, no intention of doing so.”
He then called out the media for leaving out the context surrounding his claims, saying, “‘So someone in the audience had called a journalist and misreported me. Amazingly none of the British media called to check.”