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John Cleese continues to defend J.K. Rowling by identifying as “a Cambodian police woman”

J.K. Rowling and John Cleese
J.K. Rowling and John CleesePhoto: Shutterstock

John Cleese, famous for his work on Monty Python as well as for his roles in major films, has been tweeting anti-transgender messages this past month in continued support of J.K. Rowling.

And now he is sarcastically claiming he identifies as a “Cambodian police woman.”

Related: Eddie Redmayne stands up for J.K. Rowling against internet “vitriol”

Last month, Cleese proclaimed that he signed an open letter in support of Rowling’s transphobia, along with other writers and actors in the U.K., calling the Harry Potter author “an honorable and compassionate person.”

Earlier this week, he said he wants “to be a Cambodian police woman.”

“Is that allowed, or am I being unrealistic?” he asked ironically.

Someone on Twitter then accused Cleese of “standing in solidarity with transphobia and discrimination,” to which he sarcastically responded: “Yes, and torturing small animals and setting fire to babies.”

After some back-and-forth, he finally said that he’s “not that interested in trans folks,” a bizarre position to take since he never would have been having conversations about transgender people if he didn’t initiate them.

Yesterday, he again tweeted about transgender people, saying that he was just asking questions when he signed an open letter that was also signed by sitcom writer Graham Linehan, who was banned from Twitter earlier this year for hate speech against transgender people.

Pink News found a thread from this past June where Cleese also said that he was “baffled” by discussions of Rowling’s transphobia.

The trans youth organization Mermaids responded to his “genuine request for information” by explaining that transgender women aren’t men who decide to “spuriously self-identify as women.” The group linked more information for him if he was interested in learning about transgender people.

So perhaps it’s not surprising that people don’t believe that Cleese’s current round of “asking questions” is not genuine.

In 2016, Cleese supported Brexit, the non-binding referendum to remove the U.K. from the European Union that was largely motivated by a desire to limit immigration and by concerns that the U.K. did not have enough power in the E.U.

In 2019, he said, “London was not really an English city any more” and implied that that was why the capital was “the UK city that voted most strongly to remain in the EU.”

In a previous interview, he said that London was “cosmopolitan” and “it doesn’t feel English.”

“I love having different cultures around but when the parent culture kind of dissipates you’re left thinking ‘Well, what’s going on?’”

“Londoners know that our diversity is our greatest strength,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan responded at the time. “We are proudly the English capital, a European city and a global hub.”

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