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Anti-woke comedian John Cleese blasts 'deception, dishonesty and tone' of interview, says he was painted as 'old-fashioned, uncaring and basically harmful'

Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Legendary comedian John Cleese blasted the "deception, dishonesty and tone" of a recent BBC Asia interview that he said focused on cancel culture and the Dave Chappelle controversy rather than on the agreed-upon topic — his upcoming "Why There Is No Hope" tour in Singapore and Bangkok, the Daily Mail reported.

The 82-year-old Monty Python alum also said the interviewer — whom he identified only as "Karishma" — tried to portray him as "old-fashioned, uncaring and basically harmful," the outlet said.

In response, Cleese said he ended the interview early and would be making a formal complaint to the BBC — which subsequently defended the interviewer, the Daily Mail added.

What are the details?

Cleese took to Twitter on Wednesday, outlining in multiple posts what took place from his perspective. Cleese said when he was asked about cancel culture rather than about his upcoming shows, he "replied courteously and in full" and noted that overprotective parents don't "prepare children well" for the "real and often not-very-nice world."

He said the interviewer followed with a "disjointed question, clearly trying to portray me as old-fashioned, uncaring and basically harmful." After answering one aspect of her question by pointed out that many therapists who help young people with anxiety and depression do not adhere to "woke principles," Cleese said the interviewer ignored his answer, then went on to question why he was coming to Asia amid the pandemic, "apparently blaming me for making the situation worse!"

Then once she asked Cleese about the Dave Chappelle controversy, Cleese said he took off his headphones and ended the interview.

"The media will no doubt report that I 'stormed out.' I didn't. Nor did I lose my temper. But I was depressed that this kind of presenter-ego crap is so prevalent now," the comedian added in a final tweet.

Chappelle has been attacked as transphobic over the last few months over some jokes he told in his comedy special "The Closer," and leftists far and wide have been savaging him and pushing for his cancellation ever since.

As it happens, Cleese's fellow Python alum Terry Gilliam has been dealing with fallout after recommending that his Facebook followers watch "The Closer." In fact, a small group of staffers at London's famous venue the Old Vic reportedly influenced their bosses to cancel an upcoming musical Gilliam is co-directing due to his support of Chappelle.

What did the BBC have to say?

The BBC responded to Cleese's claims by saying the interview was "fair and appropriate" and that it "touched on topics that John Cleese has previously been vocal about as well as themes within his new tour. Our presenter is an excellent and experienced journalist who conducted the interview entirely within our editorial guidelines," Metro.co.uk reported.

What else has Cleese been up to?

Last month Cleese canceled himself from an upcoming speaking gig at Cambridge University after he caught wind that an art historian was canceled there over an impersonation of Adolf Hitler that reportedly offended students.

"I was looking forward to talking to students at the Cambridge Union this Friday, but I hear that someone there has been blacklisted for doing an impersonation of Hitler," Cleese wrote on Twitter. "I regret that I did the same on a Monty Python show, so I am blacklisting myself before someone else does."

He added, "I apologise to anyone at Cambridge who was hoping to talk with me, but perhaps some of you can find a venue where woke rules do not apply."

Over the summer Cleese highlighted a documentary series called "Cancel Me," in which the comedian questions why the new woke generation is trying to censor everyone, even for harmless jokes.

And last year Cleese ripped keyboard leftists and refused to bow to them in the wake of their "transphobia" accusations after he signed a letter of solidarity with author J.K. Rowling, who herself has come under fire for statements challenging transgenderism.

"I hope they fry in their own sanctimoniousness and narcissistic posturing," Cleese said of the woke mob. "Until they get a sense of perspective, that is."

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