In an interview that breaks every rule of the Hollywood PR handbook, iconoclastic filmmaker Terry Gilliam said that white men are unfairly blamed for everything that is wrong in the world and that the #MeToo movement has become a witch hunt as well as an excuse for some women to avoid taking responsibility for poor decisions.
Gilliam, who is a Monty Python veteran and has directed such visionary movies as Brazil and 12 Monkeys, gave an incendiary interview to the British newspaper the Independent in which he refused to kneel at the altar of political correctness and woke identity politics.
At one point, he jokingly referred to himself as a “black lesbian in transition.”
Gilliam was supposed to be promoting his latest move The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, starring Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce. But the filmmaker barely spoke about the movie and instead held forth on the current cultural climate.
His pronouncements were clearly too much for the reporter to handle, who took to Twitter to express her displeasure with him.
I can't say it was a pleasure to interview Terry Gilliam https://t.co/05FNz8sDVW
— Alexandra Pollard (@alexjpollard) January 4, 2020
Speaking about the #MeToo movement, Terry Gilliam argued that it has become a convenient excuse for people who have made bad decisions in life.
“We’re living in a time where there’s always somebody responsible for your failures, and I don’t like this. I want people to take responsibility and not just constantly point a finger at somebody else, saying, ‘You’ve ruined my life,’” he said.
Gilliam also called the #MeToo movement a “witch hunt” that has gone off the rails.
“I really feel there were a lot of people, decent people, or mildly irritating people, who were getting hammered,” he said. “That’s wrong. I don’t like mob mentality.”
On the subject of Harvey Weinstein, Gilliam said he feels sympathy for some of the women he preyed upon, while adding that not everyone is the victim they portray themselves to be.
“We all make choices, and I could tell you who did make the choice and who didn’t. I hate Harvey. I had to work with him and I know the abuse,” he responded.
Gilliam’s comments echo those he gave in 2018 during an interview with the Agence France Presse in which he said #MeToo has devolved into “mob rule.”
“It’s crazy how simplified things are becoming. There is no intelligence anymore and people seem to be frightened to say what they really think. Now I am told even by my wife to keep my head a bit low,” he told the wire service.
Speaking about race and gender to the Independent, Gilliam said: “I understand that men have had more power longer, but I’m tired, as a white male, of being blamed for everything that is wrong with the world.”
When the reporter responded saying white men are born with certain privileges that they often exploit, he added: “It’s been so simplified is what I don’t like. When I announce that I’m a black lesbian in transition, people take offence at that. Why?”
He explained his joking comment: “I’m talking about being a man accused of all the wrong in the world because I’m white-skinned. So I better not be a man. I better not be white. OK, since I don’t find men sexually attractive, I’ve got to be a lesbian. What else can I be? I like girls. These are just logical steps.”
Gilliam said people have become too easily offended and have lost their sense of humor.
“With Python, we could do this stuff, and we weren’t offending people,” he said. “We were giving people a lot of laughter.”