Legendary comedian John Cleese has warned that woke ideology has not only been “disastrous” for comedy, but is leading to the “death of creativity” in general.
During an interview with Fox News, Cleese was asked if comedians today are allowed “the freedom to be funny,” to which he responded “no.”
Speaking from the site of the FreedomFest conference in Las Vegas, the Monty Python star said “There’s always been limitations on what they’re allowed to say.”
“Why, you go to Molière and Louis XIV. I mean, Molière had to be a bit careful. And there will always be limitations,” Cleese continued, adding “I mean in England, until some ridiculous late date like 1965, all plays had to be submitted to what used to be a part of the palace called the Lord Chamberlain, and he would read it and there were hilarious letters used to go back was saying ‘you may only say f— once,’ this sort of- ‘and you cannot say bugger. But you can say-‘ these sort of ridiculous negotiating letters.”
Cleese continued, “But I think it’s particularly worrying at the moment because you can only create in an atmosphere of freedom where you’re not checking everything you say critically before you move on.”
“What you have to be able to do is to build without knowing where you’re going because you’ve never been there before,” Cleese urged, adding “That’s what creativity is—you have to be allowed to build. And a lot of comedians now are sitting there and when they think of something, they say something like, ‘Can I get away with it? I don’t think so. So and so got into trouble, and he said that, oh, she said that.’ You see what I mean? And that’s the death of creativity.”
Cleese further asserted that wokeness allows the “critical mind” to dominate the creative, with the two “definitely in opposition to each other.”