John Cleese to explore cancel culture in new series as he slams ‘woke’ rules

Legendary comedian John Cleese is set to front his own TV show on cancel culture.

The actor, who is best known for classic comedy shows like Monty Python and Fawlty Towers, will explore political correctness in a brand new Channel 4 series called John Cleese: Cancel Me.

The star, 81, will "set forth into the minefield of cancel culture to explore why a new 'woke' generation is trying to rewrite the rules on what can and can't be said", according to the channel.

It comes after the term "cancel culture" has become widely popular in recent years, a phenomenon which involves calling out people or individuals for alleged offensive behaviour.

In the series, John will investigate whether it is possible to make good comedy without offending people, and he will meet famous faces who have found themselves being "cancelled" by the public.

He will also speak to people who have "cancelled" people to understand what it is that motivates them.

It follows Cleese blasting the "stifling" effect of political correctness on creativity – declaring there is no such thing as a "woke joke".

Last year, he slammed the BBC when the BBC-owned UKTV temporarily removed one episode of Fawlty Towers due to "racial slurs" and "outdated language".

Discussing his new documentary, he said: "I'm delighted to have a chance to find out, on camera, about all the aspects of so-called Political Correctness.

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"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."

Ian Katz, chief content officer of Channel 4, added: "The argument over what it's OK to say and what isn't is one of the thorniest issues of our age and there are few people better equipped to stride into it than John, a comic legend who combines genuine curiosity with a healthy disregard for what anyone thinks of him."

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The TV series also follows a string of shows which have had whole episodes or scenes removed because of racist or sexist content.

Little Britain was axed from Netflix, BritBox and BBC iPlayer amid criticism over the use of blackface.

Films such as Gone With The Wind and Flash Gordon have been given content warnings from Sky Cinema, informing viewers that they contain "outdated attitudes, language and cultural depictions which may cause offence today".

Cleese shot to fame in the 1970s as a co-founder of the surrealist comedy group Monty Python, alongside Sir Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Terry Jones.

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