‘I tell the world now I’m a black lesbian’: Monty Python actor criticises BBC’s diversity plans

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Former Monty Python actor Terry Gilliam isn’t happy about the BBC’s decision to move towards a diverse direction.

The director responded to comments made by BBC’s controller of comedy commissioning Shane Allen, who said he wants to tell ‘the stories that haven’t been told and the voices we haven’t yet heard’.

During a press conference, Allen made a comment about Monty Python’s Flying Circus skit.

If you’re going to assemble a team now, it’s not going to be six Oxbridge white blokes. It’s going to be a diverse range of people who reflect the modern world

Gilliam is not happy about the comment, and during a press conference at the Karlovy Vary Film festival (where his latest film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was being screened) he 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.

[Allen’s] statement made me so angry, all of us so angry. Comedy is not assembled, it’s not like putting together a boy band where you put together one of this, one of that everyone is represented.

People reacted by criticising Gilliam's comments:

Fans couldn't hide their disappointment

Some tried to explain that it wasn't about squashing existing industry talent... it's about finding a diverse range of talents that have been neglected...

Others wondered where the 'black lesbian' comment came from... as there aren't many in the industry.

It was not a great day for his reputation.

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