John Cleese came under fire answering questions about diversity


The 78-year-old comedy legend was asked about diversity as his friend Terry Gilliam lashed out at it earlier this year. Cleese, who also starred in Fawlty Towers, was asked by host Nick Robinson: “In this climate, is it fair to say your cast wasn’t particularly diverse?” Cleese agreed and asked: “And Graham Chapman – I’m not allowed to use the word ‘poof,’ am I? What have I got to say?” He was told that no, he is not allowed to use this word, but he already did and the show was broadcast live. “Right. Graham was homosexual and also dead. So that’s a certain amount of diversity,” said the actor. This was a reprise of Cleese’s initial response to criticism of Monty Python for its lack of diversity, which saw him tell the press that the group had “a poof” and “no slave-owners.” The fact that he said it on BBC Radio 4, however, shocked listeners.


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