John Cleese defends saying London 'not an English city anymore' after accusations of racism

Narjas Zatat@Narjas_Zatat
Thursday 30 May 2019 07:30
Picture:(Getty and John Cleese Twitter)

Comedian John Cleese has defended his comments about London, calling them “culturalist” rather than racist.

The British actor tweeted about the city, saying it's not "English" anymore: “Some years ago I opined that London was not really an English city any more.

“Since then, virtually all my friends from abroad have confirmed my observation.

So there must be some truth in it...

I note also that London was the UK city that voted most strongly to remain in the EU

His comments drew intense criticism online. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said his comments made him sound like his conservative character from sitcom Fawlty Towers.

Others pointed out that his comments were hypocritical, given that he moved to the Caribbean island of Nevis last year.

He has since doubled down on his comments in follow up tweets, insisting that his comments are “culturalist.”

“It might interest those people who seem to think my remarks about London are racist as opposed to culturalist, to consider that what I like about spending time in Nevis.”

Nevis has excellent race relations, a very well educated population, no sign of political correctness......

He went on to describe that he prefers certain cultures over others. "I think it's legitimate to prefer one culture to another."

For example, I prefer cultures that do not tolerate female genital mutilation.

Will this will be considered racist by all those who hover, eagerly hoping that someone will offend them - on someone else's behalf, naturally

But his explanation, for many, wasn't enough

Some called him a hypocrite. He can live in the Caribbean, but people from other countries moving to London is taking away its Englishness?

One person pointed out the Caribbean's colonial history...

And some people pointed out the incongruity of Britain forcefully colonising entire countries, and yet he's annoyed about some innocent migration

"Political correctness = people objecting to racism"

London, says another, has never been an "English city" in the way Cleese sees it - there has always been a racially oppressed underclass

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