John Cleese says he ‘identifies’ as a ‘Cambodian police woman’ as he doubles down on his support for JK Rowling

Josh Milton
·5-min read

John Cleese doubled down on his support for JK Rowling for her anti-trans views while appearing to mock trans people because that’s how he spends his Sunday morning (November 22) apparently.

The Monty Python star drew criticism for a patchwork of tweets in which he threw his weight once again towards Rowling, who has transparently restyled herself into a spiked commentator on trans rights.

Rowling had spent years issuing opaque comments or gestures on trans rights that her followers uneasily shrugged off – the odd ‘liked’ tweet here, a follow there – until she issued blunter, lengthier comments dubbed by activists as “threat to LGBT+ people” earlier this year.

Squaring off with trans people and allies, the 81-year-old said he “identifies” as a “Cambodian police woman” – a “joke” denounced by users as “deeply unkind“.

Cleese sought to stress that he is not transphobic and that he hopes trans people are “happy” and treated with “kindness” before blasting Rowling’s critics, many of whom labelled her as anti-trans, as “woke”.

John Cleese sparks outrage for comments on trans rights.

The tweets were prompted after a user pressed Cleese over his previous support for the Harry Potter author.

He signed a letter, published in The Sunday Times in September, “in solidarity” with the writer, with other signatories ranging from disgraced comedy writer Graham Linehan to several figures of the LGB Alliance, a top anti-trans group in Britain.

Cleese then responded to various tweets both supporting him and criticising him, saying that he has to keep “batting off” the “projections” of trans campaigners while he tacitly pushed back against claims that he is standing in “solidarity with transphobia”.

Cleese then proceeded to tweet a “joke” dubbed by one user as an “arbitrary thing [he] made up [that is] not comparable to the lived experience of trans people” when someone asked him to just “let people be who they want to be”.

He added that he is “not that interested in trans folks” and added: “I just hope they’re happy and that people treat them kindly.”

Cleese then tweeted a laundry list of issues he is “more focussed on”, which ranged from US President Donald Trump’s attempts to derail democracy, the coronavirus pandemic to the “incompetence of the British government”, because we guess the erosion of trans rights across several countries and trans homicides reaching the highest pace ever aren’t issues to focus on.

Cleese then lasered in on his critics. Responding to a tweet in which a “free speech advocate” dubbed trans advocates a “mob”, Cleese derided his detractors’ “complete lack of perspective” and the “complete lack of a sense of humour.

“Heard a woke joke yet?” he added.

He then provided his own example of a so-called “woke joke”. We’d recommend not opening with it, Cleese.

Monty Python comedian condemned as ‘anti-trans’ by Twitter users.

Cleese was met with a chorus of criticism for his comments, with his “one joke” that mocks trans people becoming a lightning rod in particular.

PinkNews contacted a representative of John Cleese for comment.