'Some cultures are superior to others': John Cleese says some cultures are incompatible with the West

The British actor and comedian defended past remarks about London's diversity and criticized people who take comedy too literally.

'Some cultures are superior to others,' John Cleese says some cultures are incompatible with the West
AP Photo/Amel Emric
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British actor and comedian John Cleese stated boldly in a local interview that people should not be afraid to publicly assert the truth about cultural differences. Cleese, known for his comedic roles and writing, said, "Race doesn't matter, but culture does."

The comedian went on to explain his stance, saying, "I think that some cultures are superior to others, and we should not be frightened to say so." He cited the practice of female genital mutilation as an example of an "abhorrent" cultural practice and argued that immigrants coming to live in Britain should "accept and adhere to our values."

Cleese also expressed concern over the alleged desire of some Muslims in the U.K. to see Sharia law implemented, stating, "I understand that some 20 percent of Muslims in the U.K. would like to see Sharia law, and I believe that's wrong."

The actor defended a previous remark that had angered leftists, in which he claimed that "London was not really an English city anymore." Cleese maintained that the statement "was not a racist remark."

In a separate instance, Cleese made headlines this week when he discussed his comedy in the context of the upcoming stage adaptation of his sitcom "Fawlty Towers". The play is based on three episodes of the multi-season sitcom he wrote in 1975.

One episode, which contained "racial slurs," was temporarily removed by UKTV before being reinstated following Cleese's criticism of the decision and his condemnation of those who believe in false revisionist history.

Cleese addressed the issue of literal-mindedness in comedy, stating, "There's always a problem with comedy that you deal with the literal-minded. Whenever you're doing comedy, you're up against the literal-minded and the literal-minded don't understand irony."

He argued that taking the literal-minded seriously can lead to the loss of a significant amount of comedy, as they struggle to comprehend metaphor, irony, and comic exaggeration.

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