John Cleese Is Making A Documentary About Cancel Culture

by : Emily Brown on :
John Cleese Is Making A Documentary About Cancel CulturePA Images

British comedian John Cleese is set to explore the concept of cancel culture in a new documentary, in which he will interview people who have been subject to the backlash.

Cleese, who is known for his roles in Monty Python, A Fish Called Wanda and as the voice of the king in Shrek, will delve into the topic of political correctness in the documentary series for Channel 4.


Titled John Cleese: Cancel Me, the series will reportedly consider ‘why a new ‘woke’ generation is trying to rewrite the rules on what can and can’t be said’ by focusing on past examples in which celebrities and people in the public eye have been ‘cancelled’ for their actions or statements.

John Cleese (PA Images)PA Images

Cleese has described himself as ‘delighted’ to have the chance to ‘find out, on camera, about all the aspects of so-called political correctness’.

He explained:


There’s so much I really don’t understand, like: how the impeccable idea of ‘Let’s all be kind to people’ has been developed in some cases ad absurdum.

I want to bring the various reasonings right out in the open so that people can be clearer in their minds what they agree with, what they don’t agree with, and what they still can’t make their mind up about.

Cancel culture is a concept that has evolved in keeping with ever-increasing efforts to be more inclusive and non-judgemental of all walks of life, with social media proving a hub for people to hone in on the actions and comments made by people in the public eye.

Numerous celebrities have been the subject of ‘cancel culture’ over the years, with the likes of Ricky Gervais, Kevin Hart and Chrissy Teigen all having shared their thoughts on the matter.


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Cleese himself has previously expressed beliefs that cancel culture may affect creativity, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme last year that while he agrees with political correctness, it is difficult to prevent everyone from being offended all the time.

John Cleese (PA Images)PA Images

Per The Guardian, he commented:

[Political correctness] stuff started out as a good idea, which is, ‘Let’s not be mean to people’, and I’m in favour of that despite my age.

The main thing is to try to be kind. But that then becomes a sort of indulgence of the most over-sensitive people in your culture, the people who are most easily upset … I don’t think we should organise a society around the sensibilities of the most easily upset people because then you have a very neurotic society.

From the point of creativity, if you have to keep thinking which words you can use and which you can’t, then that will stifle creativity. The main thing is to realise that words depend on their context. Very literal-minded people think a word is a word but it isn’t.


As well as interviewing people who have been subject to cancel culture, Cleese is set to speak to the people who are doing the cancelling.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University and went on to contribute to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming Senior Journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories and longer form features.

Topics: Celebrity, Cancel Culture, Channel 4, Now


The Guardian
  1. The Guardian

    Cancel Me: John Cleese to present Channel 4 show on ‘woke’ thought