John Cleese is once again asking questions about trans people and this man really needs to learn how to Google or talk to a trans person.
The Monty Phyton star, 81, faced backlash last week for tweeting that he “identifies” as a “Cambodian police woman” – a joke seen by many as mocking and derisive of the trans experience.
In response, and despite saying that he is “not that interested” in trans people just days ago, Cleese took aim at his critics Tuesday afternoon, tweeting: “When I tweet about trans matters, I often ask questions.
“They are never answered. Why is this the case?”
When I tweet about trans-matters, I often ask questions
They are never answered
Why is this the case ?
Are the people who hate me stuck on trans-mit ?
New question: If people who disagree with you are 'haters', does this imply they are 'haters' for disagreeing with you
— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) November 24, 2020
Cleese has often claimed ignorance over his anti-trans comments in the past. When JK Rowling’s explosive trans tirade seized Britain earlier this year, the actor said he was “baffled” by the debate, again asking for a “genuine request for information”.
But both then and in his tweets last week, an array of trans community leaders, advocacy groups and allies all sought to educate Cleese, as much as he said “they never answered”.
They did to his query in June.
If you're a woman and truly know that's true we should respect you enough to believe you when you tell us who you are. That's the loving, kind and even thought it might not seem like it to you at first, truthful thing to do.
— Ian Boothby (@IanBoothby) June 19, 2020
How would you feel if there was a very powerful group of media types attempting to use the government to dictate the ways in which you can be a man? I think a normal person would at least feel perturbed at that, no?
— Katelyn Burns (@transscribe) June 19, 2020
Thank you for laying out the facts so clearly and concisely.
— Sandy “wear a damn mask” M (@SandyColMc) June 19, 2020
And they did again in November.
Do you realise that regimes threatening democracy (e.g. Hungary, the US) and "the appalling British press" all share a hatred of trans people?
We can't be happy while they legislate or report against us. There is no kindness.
You may not be interested but our interests align.
— Freddy McConnell (@freddymcconnell) November 22, 2020
Well, John, we are not being treated kindly. And I’m not talking about cordiality. I’m talking about discrimination in employment, housing, health care and other areas of living, all of which is exacerbated when public figures speak from ignorance and bigotry on trans rights.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) November 22, 2020
@JohnCleese in all due respect, I fully support your right to say what you wish, but thousands of people take their own lives because they do not 'fit' into society, there's two options; allow trans people to live out their lives or continue to marginalise them.
— Rhŷn 🏴 (@rhynwilliams) November 22, 2020
Try being a trans, non binary, or gender non conforming person especially Black & Brown ones, ALONE in a rural town or ANYWHERE in the world. The @jk_rowling & @JohnCleese of the world could never. So cruel to constantly punch down onto a marginalized group of people.
— Jonathan Van Ness (@jvn) November 22, 2020
“Are the people who hate me stuck on trans-mit?” Cleese continued.
“New question: If people who disagree with you are ‘haters’, does this simply imply they are ‘haters’ for disagreeing with you[?]”
John Cleese: Ironclad defender of JK Rowling often leaves trans people fatigued
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.
Cleese has emerged as a high-decibel supporter of 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, an anti-trans pressure group in Britain.
When one follower questioned his ironclad support, telling him he was taking a “huge step backwards” that would allow the author the “continue hurting others”, Cleese shrugged off the criticism.
“I suspect that the signatories I am proud to be associated are far more balanced and intelligent than the people whose slogans you chant. Sad,” Cleese replied.