BBC Disses Monty Python For Lack Of Diversity [VIDEO]

BBC Disses Monty Python For Lack Of Diversity [VIDEO]

BBC Disses Monty Python For Lack Of Diversity [VIDEO]

The comedy of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” and the following movies is often a good litmus test for making friends. Laughing together is a perfect way to assess another person’s sense of humor, which is what all good relationships are built on.

For example, my husband and I have a long, long, LONG list of Python quotes that we frequently toss at each other as in-jokes. Watching the TV show, which premiered in 1969, on DVD was something we often did during the early years in our marriage.

Well, the BBC, which produced Monty Python when it originally premiered, now has its “Head of Comedy” on record as saying that the show would never get made today. Why? Because it would be too risqué? Because it isn’t funny enough to 21st century audiences? Because the BBC can’t even produce a season of “Doctor Who” in a timely manner?

Nope, says “Head of Comedy” Shane Allen. Monty Python would never get made today because…. the guys were all WHITE.

Head of comedy Shane Allen said the broadcaster no longer values the ‘metropolitan, educated experience’ and needs to be more diverse.

Monty Python stars such as John Cleese and Michael Palin, along with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, have all forged successful BBC careers after studying at Oxbridge.

But Mr Allen, apparently forgetting that one of the six Pythons – Terry Gilliam – didn’t go to Oxford or Cambridge, said: ‘If you’re going to assemble a team now it’s not going to be six Oxbridge white blokes. It’s going to be a diverse range of people who reflect the modern world.’

He added: ‘It’s about telling stories that haven’t been told. When you look at the ones [recent comedies] that have done well they’ve got a really specific sense of place.

‘And I think we’ve heard the metropolitan, educated experience. I think it’s about how original a voice you have over what school you went to.’

His comments came as he unveiled a series of new programmes, including an all-woman sketch show.

Silly upper-class twit. I thought the point of comedy was to be FUNNY, not to go all bean-counting on the diversity boxes. Oh, no, not anymore.

A few thoughts:
1) Monty Python came together organically. This was not a planned sketch comedy show like “Saturday Night Live.” Nor did they have a revolving cast door. When John Cleese left the TV show after the 3rd season, he really wasn’t replaced.

2) Monty Python is rapidly approaching its 50th anniversary, and it’s still held up as an iconic example of British comedy. Get back to us in 50 years about the longevity of whatever you’re putting on the air today, Mr. Head of Comedy.

3) The term “Oxbridge” is a combination of Oxford and Cambridge, where all the British Pythons began acting. Occidental College, alma mater of Terry Gilliam, was completely dissed here. There’s some diversity right there, Mr. Head of Comedy.

The Pythons were not amused with the BBC’s take on their show.


Getting off the rails here, guys…


Even the American (who now holds British citizenship and renounced his American citizenship, actually) wasn’t happy.

Speaking at the Karlovy Vary film festival in the Czech Republic, Terry Gilliam pumped his troll factor to 11 when he lampooned the politically-correct backlash by declaring himself a “black lesbian.”

“It made me cry: the idea that … no longer six white Oxbridge men can make a comedy show,” said Gilliam. “Now we need one of this, one of that, everybody represented … this is bullsh*t. I no longer want to be a white male, I don’t want to be blamed for everything wrong in the world: I tell the world now I’m a black lesbian. … My name is Loretta and I’m a BLT, a black lesbian in transition.”

“[Allen’s] statement made me so angry, all of us so angry,” he said. “Comedy is not assembled, it’s not like putting together a boy band where you put together one of this, one of that everyone is represented.”

Props to Gilliam for the “Loretta” callback.

Now, don’t get me wrong – the Pythons (the ones with social media accounts, anyway) are left-wing progressives with an unhealthy obsession with American politics. But they were funny. Their work continues to be seen, nearly 50 years later, because it remains universally and timelessly hysterical.

And if an organic comedy group now can’t get a shot at the BBC because they aren’t “diverse” enough for their “Head of Comedy” in the 21st century… then obviously, we’d better stick with the classics, when all that mattered was being funny.

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3 Comments
  • GWB says:

    Head of comedy Shane Allen
    Shane! Don’t go, Shane!

    including an all-woman sketch show
    Oh yeah, that‘s going to work well.

    I’m a BLT, a black lesbian in transition
    Hah! I love that!
    As much as I disliked Life of Brian for its bits of blasphemy, I thought that sketch was absolutely hilarious! (A couple of others, too.)

  • skillyboo says:

    “Now, don’t get me wrong – the Pythons (the ones with social media accounts, anyway) are left-wing progressives with an unhealthy obsession with American politics. But they were funny. Their work continues to be seen, nearly 50 years later, because it remains universally and timeless.”
    I wonder if they’ll change their progressivism now that they’re being singled out by it as privileged?

  • Jim says:

    Before Monty Python were the Goons [Harry Secombe, Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan], all WW II ex-army supported by a regular cast including Wally Stott’s band and the Ray Ellington Quartet – “Ray was born to a Russian Jewish mother and an African-American father in England.”

    The Goons developed their own brand of wacky humour, often based on their war-time experiences. I suspect it was therapeutic for them and their audience in post-war Britain. They poked fun at all sorts of people and political issues, but I doubt they would be acceptable to the narrow-minded puritanical social engineers of the left nowadays, yet the very straight-laced and ‘proper’ BBC of the 1950s did accept the Goons and, later, Monty Python. This is just another case of ‘progressive’ bigots trying to deny and/or re-write history to meet their own intolerant perceptions. Like the Goons Monty Python poked fun at pompous, bigoted people and organisations without fear or favour – and their targets included those from the Left and Right. Both groups of comedians were spontaneous and clearly could not be controlled by bureaucrats. Such free thinking frightens those of the Left who, especially, like to control all things.

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