John Cleese slams ‘wokes’: ‘All that stuff immediately stops you being creative’

John Cleese
English actor John Cleese poses for photos as he walks on the red carpet to receive Sarajevo Film Festival’s top honor award, the Heart of Sarajevo Award, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, in 2017. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)

John Cleese slams ‘wokes’: ‘All that stuff immediately stops you being creative’

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Comedian John Cleese blasted the current entertainment climate, slamming the notion that people are accustomed to “deliberately waiting for the thrill of being offended.”

Cleese, 83, slammed those he called “wokes” for becoming enemies of creativity and humor in an interview to be featured in Reason.com’s January issue.

“You think of an idea and you immediately think: ‘Oooh, is that going to get me into trouble? Well, that person last Thursday got away with it,’” Cleese said. “But all that stuff immediately stops you being creative.”

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The Monty Python actor noted the importance of context within creative works that allow space for irony and sarcasm to be understood.

“The woke people, I think, miss something quite badly,” Cleese added. “The meaning of a word depends on its context. If I use sarcasm, then what I’m meaning is the opposite of the words I’m actually saying. If you don’t get irony, then if you take it seriously, you completely misunderstand the intention of the writer or speaker.”

Cleese has been outspoken about the impact that woke culture has had on comedy and other creative arts.

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In October, he announced he would host a new show tackling cancel culture and “people who believe [they] are purer than they actually are.” The show will air on GB News, a United Kingdom news channel — one Cleese calls “a free speech channel.”

“In my new show, I’ll be talking about a lot of it,” Cleese tweeted. “You should be prepared to be shocked.”

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