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John Cleese is taking on cancel culture in a new documentary series.
The Channel 4 series, titled John Cleese: Cancel Me, will explore the possibility of making comedy without anyone "taking offence”.
In a statement, the Monty Python actor commented: "I’m delighted to have a chance to find out, on camera, about all the aspects of so-called political correctness. There’s so much I really don’t understand, like: how the impeccable idea of ‘Let’s all be kind to people’ has been developed in some cases ad absurdum."
Throughout the series, Cleese will interview people who have been on the receiving end of cancel culture, as well as activists who have orchestrated criticism of various public figures.
“I want to bring the various reasonings right out in the open so that people can be clearer in their minds what they agree with, what they don’t agree with, and what they still can’t make their mind up about” he continued.
Cleese's new gig comes a year after he lashed out at UKTV for removing an episode of his acclaimed series Fawlty Towers. The 1975 episode, The Germans, portrayed a character using a racial slur in reference to a West Indies cricket team. The channel reinstated the episode after the actor's comments, placing a content warning at the beginning for "potentially offensive content and language”.
Speaking to The Age at the time, the 81-year-old said, "If you put nonsense words into the mouth of someone you want to make fun of, you’re not broadcasting their views, you’re making fun of them. The major was an old fossil left over from decades before. We were not supporting his views, we were making fun of them. If they can’t see that – if people are too stupid to see that – what can one say?"