by Paul Sacca
John Cleese refused to bend the knee to the outrage mob who called for a joke to be removed from an upcoming stage version of Monty Python’s “Life Of Brian.” The controversial scene features a man claiming that he is a woman and he can have a baby.
Cleese is working on a stage production of Monty Python’s “Life of Brian,” a 1979 movie about a man who is mistaken for Jesus Christ. However, actors allegedly told Cleese that one scene would need to be cut out of the reproduction for it not to be offensive in today’s social environment.
The scene in question features a character named “Stan” – who wants to become a woman and have babies.
“I want to be a woman,” Stan declares. “From now on, I want you all to call me Loretta.”
Cleese’s character Reg bewilderedly asked, “What?”
Stan fires back, “It’s my right as a man.”
When asked why he wants to be a woman, Stan explains, “I want to have babies.”
Reg quizzically replies, “You want to have babies?”
Stan shoots back, “It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them.”
When Reg informs Stan that he “can’t have babies,” Stan plays the victim, “Don’t you oppress me.”
Cleese’s character notes, “I’m not oppressing you, Stan, you haven’t got a womb. Where’s the fetus going to gestate? You gonna keep it in a box?”
Other characters agree that Stan can’t have babies, but argue that he should have the “right to have babies.”
Reg responds, “What’s the point of fighting for his right to have babies when he can’t have babies?”
Another character says, “It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.”
Reg quips that Stan has a “struggle with reality” for thinking he can give birth to a baby.
Critics claim the scene in the movie from 44 years ago is “transphobic.”
Despite the controversy, Cleese confirmed that he would not be removing the questionable scene from the upcoming stage show of “Life of Brian.”
Cleese wrote on Twitter, “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 slammed the media for “misreporting” him about cutting the Loretta scene from the new version, “Amazingly none of the British media called to check.”
Cleese said of the actors in the upcoming production, “These were absolutely top-class Broadway performers and they were adamant that we would not get away with doing the scene in NYC! I asked them, ‘Are Python fans not going to come because we’re doing a scene they’ve been laughing at for 40 years.'”
The Monty Python comedian said, “Producers tend to be scaredy-cats, and they don’t remember that the protests in NYC when ‘Brian’ was released meant we never needed to do publicity!”