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John Cleese Says Cancel Culture Has Caused The 'Death Of Creativity' In Comedy

John Cleese Says Cancel Culture Has Caused The 'Death Of Creativity' In Comedy

The comedian said while there’s always been ‘limitations’ as to what you can say, 2022 is a particularly ‘worrying’ time for comedy.

John Cleese believes cancel culture has had a ‘disastrous’ effect on comedians and labels it the ‘death of creativity’. 

The comedy legend sat down with Fox News Digital and was asked if comedians have the freedom to be funny in the current age.

The Monty Python creator firmly responded: “No.”

He added that while there’s always been ‘limitations’ as to what you can say, 2022 is a particularly ‘worrying’ time for the genre.

Alamy Stock Photo

He said: “I think it's particularly worrying at the moment because you can only create in an atmosphere of freedom, where you're not checking everything you say critically before you move on.

“A lot of comedians now are sitting there and when they think of something, they say something like, ‘Can I get away with it? I don't think so. So and so got into trouble, and he said that, oh, she said that'.

"You see what I mean? And that's the death of creativity.”

Cleese also said that while people tend to criticise art consistently now, it’s not something that lends itself to the creative lens, as artists are too concerned about ‘offending’ the public.

He said: “You can do the creation and then criticise it, but you can't do them at the same time.

"So if you're worried about offending people and constantly thinking of that, you are not going to be very creative.

Alamy Stock Photo

"So I think it has a disastrous effect.”

However, this isn’t the first time the Faulty Towers creator has slammed political correctness.

In November 2021, the 82-year-old blacklisted himself from a Cambridge University event after a speaker was banned after doing a Hitler impersonation, according to BBC News.


After Cleese backed out of the event following art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon’s ban, Union president Keir Bradwell said Cleese's withdrawal was a ‘huge shame’.

Cleese also issued a statement via Twitter, apologising to university members expecting him to speak.

He wrote: “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.”

“I regret that I did the same on a Monty Python show, so I am blacklisting myself before someone else does.”

Featured Image Credit: Claudio Bresciani / TT / Kod 10090 / Alamy Stock Photo. MGM

Topics: News, Celebrity, TV and Film