John Cleese Struggles with “Woke” Discussions on New GB News Show
A Remarkable Offer from GB News
John Cleese confirms the debut of his 10-part GB News show “The Dinosaur Hour,” set to air on October 29th. He described it as “the most extraordinary offer that’s ever been made to anyone in the history of television.” In an interview with Michelle Dewberry on GB News, Cleese, expressed his interest in tackling “woke issues” on his show. However, he finds himself hindered by a significant obstacle: acquiring willing participants.
Reluctance to Engage in Discourse
“Most people are frightened of getting fired and the people who employ them are frightened of getting fired and that end of woke is not very nice,” Cleese explained. He further elaborated: “I want to discuss woke issues on The Dinosaur Hour and we couldn’t get people on. One woman said ‘It’s wrong even to discuss it’. In other words, they just want us to accept all their ideas and they’re not prepared to discuss them.” As a writer for the surreal sketch show Monty Python, he delineates a cultural shift in societal and comedic discourse.
Censorship and the Changing Comedy Landscape
Cleese pointed out the stark contrast between contemporary comedic environments and those during the era when shows like “Fawlty Towers” first aired on the BBC. He believes an episode from season one of Fawlty Towers, titled “The Germans,” would “probably not” pass the creation process today. “It would go from committee to committee to committee at the BBC and somebody would object to it,” he remarked. Moreover, Cleese compares the formidable power of “woke” advocates to their “ability to get people fired.” This was cited from a conversation with a university professor from Oregon.
The professor told him that more people faced termination “during the woke period than were fired during McCarthyism in the 50s.”
Addressing Contradictions and Engaging in Dialogue
Moreover, Cleese acknowledged the necessity for high-profile individuals to address these issues due to their relatively secure positions. “They go after people and an awful lot of people are very, very scared of that which is why people with a higher profile have to discuss it as they’re not frightened of getting fired,” he stated. Despite his critical standpoint on the “woke” culture, Cleese does not shy away from criticising GB News itself. Merely days earlier, he described GB News presenter Mark Dolan as “really appalling” on Twitter, even sharing a video compilation of Dolan repeatedly referring to Meghan Markle as “Woko Mono.”
Freedom and Creativity on GB News
Explaining his decision to accept GB News’ offer, Cleese said: “They came to me a few months ago and they made me the most extraordinary offer that’s ever been made to anyone in the history of television. They said ‘would you like to do 10 shows, you can do whatever you like’.” Contrasting this with the BBC, he declared, “Can you imagine the BBC doing that? It would be subject to committee A and then after committee A have approved it, you’d go to Committee B. They said you can do anything and I’ve had no interference of any kind and it has been joyful.”