Turley: Activists demand scene of man wanting to become a woman be cut from The Life of Brian film

Selective outrage once again struck a classic film as mocking transgenderism remained taboo but “endless jokes about Italians, Christians, and Jews” were of no concern.

In 1979, the British comedy troupe Monty Python released “The Life of Brian,” the story of a man born next door and at the same time as Jesus who goes on to be mistaken for the Messiah. At one point in the film, a group is seen discussing their goals against oppression that could be viewed as prophetic of the gender dysphoric pronoun madness of today in what is known as the Loretta scene.

Recently, comedic actor and writer John Cleese of the Pythons described pushback he received over adapting “The Life of Brian” for the stage from a group that attorney Jonathan Turley described as “perpetually pissed off, humorless people.”

“Activists are demanding the cutting of a scene from the move The Life of Brian. No, activists are not upset with the endless jokes about Italians, Christians, and Jews,” Turley wrote. “It is the scene involving a man who wants to become a women (sic) and have a child.”

Cleese himself spoke to the matter on social media after he said the media had misreported about whether or not the scene would be removed from the stage play.

“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). I said that we’d had a table reading of the latest draft in NYC a year ago and that 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,” Cleese recounted.

“Amazingly,” he noted, “none of the British media called to check.”

Throughout the scene, Stan, played by Eric Idle, continually interjects about women as Michael Palin refers to men in their cause. After several interruptions, Stan is confronted over it only to reveal, “I want to be a woman.”

No longer wishing to be called Stan, and instead to be referred to as Loretta, Idle’s character may as well have been lining up poolside at a women’s NCAA swimming competition as he insisted, “It’s my right as a man.”

The character further suggested, “I want to have babies,” and, “It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them,” despite the group acknowledging Stan lacked all the requisite anatomical features to do so.

Cleese’s character exclaimed, “You can’t have babies!” only to have his logic chided by Stan, “Don’t you oppress me!”

Turley commented on the latest in a chain of attacks against comedy by suggesting creators “are now set upon by a legion of humorless people who seek to reduce the world to their own narrow range of acceptable levity or irony. These comedy giants are set upon by an Army of Lilliputians who have contributed little to culture beyond chilling artists and writers into obedient silence or compulsive comedy criteria.”

Cleese himself had said, “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. What is one supposed to make of that?”

Previously, Cleese had noted that he would not permit the BBC to do a remake of his show “Fawlty Towers” over political correctness. “I’m not doing it with the BBC because I won’t get the freedom,” he had told GB News.

“That was the best time because the BBC was run by people with real personality who loved the medium and who were operating out of confidence, which was okay because there wasn’t so much competition,” he added of how comedy used to be.

Similarly, he had said during a Fox News interview, “You can do the creation and then criticize 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. So I think it has a disastrous effect.”

However, Cleese’s character may have said it best when Palin’s suggested solidarity with Stan was symbolic of their struggle. Cleese’s character had concluded, “Symbolic of his struggle against reality.”


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