American film director Terry Gilliam, renowned for such movies as Brazil, Time Bandits, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail, recently completed his film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote after trying to get it made for 20 years. But when he was in London recently to promote the film, he was more interested in talking politics than cinema.
“I understand that men have had more power longer, but I’m tired, as a white male, of being blamed for everything that is wrong with the world. I didn’t do it!”, the 79-year-old Gilliam told The Independent.
“I’m talking about being a man accused of all the wrong in the world because I’m white-skinned. So I better not be a man. I better not be white.”
Gilliam believes that the political climate has changed since he first entered the entertainment industry, and now people are more sensitive. “I’m just trying to make you start thinking,” he said. “You see, this is the world I grew up in, and with Python, we could do this stuff, and we weren’t offending people. We were giving people a lot of laughter.”
Gilliam also had some harsh words for the #MeToo movement. “Yeah, I said #MeToo is a witch hunt. I really feel there were a lot of people, decent people, or mildly irritating people, who were getting hammered. That’s wrong. I don’t like mob mentality. These were ambitious adults.”
“We’re living in a time where there’s always somebody responsible for your failures, and I don’t like this,” he added. “I want people to take responsibility and not just constantly point a finger at somebody else, saying, ‘You’ve ruined my life.’”
This is not the first time that Gilliam has courted controversy by making politically incorrect remarks. In June 2018, the BBC’s comedy programmer, Shane Allen, claimed that it would not be possible to make Monty Python today. “If you’re going to assemble a team now, it’s not going to be six Oxbridge white blokes,” Allen said, as reported by The Guardian. “It’s going to be a diverse range of people who reflect the modern world.”
The following month, Gilliam, who had been a part of the Python team, responded, “It made me cry: the idea that . . . no longer six white Oxbridge men can make a comedy show. Now we need one of this, one of that, everybody represented . . . this is bullshit. I no longer want to be a white male, I don’t want to be blamed for everything wrong in the world: I tell the world now I’m a black lesbian . . . My name is Loretta and I’m a BLT, a black lesbian in transition.”