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John Cleese is setting the record straight.
The 83-year-old “Monty Python” star says, contrary to recent reports, he will not cut a politically incorrect scene from his movie, Life of Brian.
In a tweet, Cleese claimed that a journalist had “misreported” him when claiming the actor was planning to cut the famous “Loretta” scene for an upcoming stage adaptation of the satire film.
“A few days ago I spoke to an audience outside London. I told them I was adapting the Life of Brian so that we could do it as a stage show (NOT a musical),” Cleese tweeted.
“All the actors — several of them Tony winners — had advised me strongly to cut the Loretta scene. I have, of course, no intention of doing so.”
The scene in question features a man from the 1979 British comedy telling his friends he wants to be woman named “Loretta.” He demands the right to bear a child. Cleese’s character in the film tells the man he’s being ridiculous and it’s not possible for him to give birth.
“I want to be a woman. It’s my right as a man,” the character says.
His associate chimes in to defend him, “It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.”
“It’s symbolic of his struggle against reality,” Cleese’s character snaps back.
Here’s the the entire scene:
John Cleese won’t turn ‘Monty Python’ woke.
Cleese described a read-through he had with a group of actors, who worried the scene might be interpreted as transphobic.
“At the end, I said to the American actors: ‘What do you think?'” Cleese recalled. “And they said: ‘We love the script, but you can’t do that stuff about Loretta nowadays.'”
Because, nowadays, it is somehow offensive to say men can’t have babies.
“So here you have something there’s never been a complaint about in 40 years, that I’ve heard of, and now all of a sudden we can’t do it because it’ll offend people,” Cleese said. “What is one supposed to make of that?”
But Cleese won’t sacrifice the integrity of his comedy. And he shouldn’t.
The live version of Monty Python’s Life of Brian will launch in 2024 — with all the original jokes in tact.