Monty Python legend hits out at cancel culture after theatre cut his show following trans rights comments

Monty Python legend hits out at cancel culture after theatre cut his show following trans rights comments
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Aden-Jay Wood

By Aden-Jay Wood

Published: 05/08/2022

- 14:48

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 10:46

Terry Gilliam, who has previously made controversial comments about trans rights, had his production of "Into the Woods" cut by the Old Vic in November

Monty Python legend Terry Gilliam has hit out at the “Neo-Calvinists” after a London theatre cancelled his production without explanation.

Mr Gilliam’s production of "Into the Woods" was cut by the Old Vic in November.

The decision came shortly after the filmmaker threw his backing behind comedian Dave Chappelle, urging people to watch his contentious new Netflix show in a Facebook post.

Mr Gilliam has also made several controversial comments about transgender rights, saying he identified as black lesbian, and described the #MeToo movement a “witch-hunt”.

Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam

Speaking about his “cancellation”, he said: “I refer to them (staff at the Old Vic) as Neo-Calvinists.

“They are totally closed-minded. [To them] there is only one truth and one way of looking at the world. Well, ‘f*** you!’ is my answer to them.”

Mr Gilliam said his wife keeps telling him to stay out of controversial topics, before adding: “I have a head so it goes above the parapet sometimes to see what’s up there”.

Referring to the Old Vic’s decision, Mr Gilliam added: “I think it’s very sad.

“They allowed a small group of kids to dictate to them or to intimidate them.

“We know there’s a feeling of guilt, the guilt just arrived back in the country,” he told the Times.

The filmmaker was born in 1940 and has been comparing the culture from his early life to now.

The Old Vic
The Old Vic

He continued: “It was expansive, exploring and exciting, the world had all these possibilities. And now it’s going in the opposite direction, imploding.

“It’s ‘any thought that makes me feel uncomfortable I have to be protected from’. That’s terrifying...

“At universities when a lecturer comes in the ideas are so disturbing that the students have to go into a safe room, where they can hold hands and recover from these ideas.

“When universities say we want our students to be comfortable, what the f*** are they talking about? University is about expanding minds.”

When asked whether he had any regrets, Mr Gilliam replied: “When I announced (I was a) black lesbian, the anger was not from LGBT people or black people.

“It was from people who felt they had to defend these victims of Gilliam’s joke, the ‘activists’.

“They love the idea of other people’s victimhood so they can be defenders.”

While on the trans debate, Mr Gilliam blamed Stonewall: “As somebody said, movements start with a genuine sense of wrong, and if successful become businesses, and if the businesses keep growing they become rackets.”

Into the Woods has now been picked up by the Theatre Royal in Bath with shows running from mid-august to September.

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