- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Former director and Monty Python member Terry Gilliam lamented the change in comedy culture in a new interview, saying he’s tired of being “blamed for everything” because he’s a white male.

In an interview published Monday by The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Gillam spoke about Monty Python’s 1979 comedy film “Life of Brian” and how “it would be a fight” to get some of those jokes onscreen today.

He also addressed comments made last year by BBC comedy chief Shane Allen, who said any modern-day sketch show wouldn’t feature “six Oxbridge white blokes.”

“I wasn’t particularly angry, I just played angry,” Mr. Gilliam said of his initial reaction to Mr. Allen’s comments. “The idea is that we’re already excluded because the world has changed. I said, I’m tired of being, as a white male, blamed for everything that’s wrong in the world. So now I want you to call me Loretta. I’m a black lesbian in transition.

“That all comes from ‘Life of Brian,’ when Eric, whose name is Stan, says ‘I want you to call me Loretta. I want to be a woman,’” he added. “People now might take offense at that. And when offense becomes so easy, it takes the fun out of offending!”

Mr. Gilliam also lamented that political correctness and “egotism” had changed comedy in the U.K. and the U.S.

“I always felt the British are very good at laughing at themselves,” he said. “The Americans are better at laughing at other people. I still think it’s pretty true, but it’s changing because now we can’t laugh at anybody because it causes offense. There’s a kind of egotism out there: ‘Oh, they were making fun of me.’ Never heard of you. I’m making fun of an idea.”

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