Posted on May 6, 2024

John Cleese Says Britons Should Not Be Frightened to Say ‘Some Cultures Are Superior to Others’

Emily Jane Davies, Daily Mail, May 2, 2024

Fawlty Towers star John Cleese has said Brits shouldn’t be frightened to say ‘some cultures are superior to others’.

The 84-year-old claimed it is ‘wrong’ for Muslims to want sharia law to be enforced in the UK.

Sharia, derived from the Quran, is regarded as Islam’s legal system. While it is a source of guidance for many Muslims, sharia councils have no legal jurisdiction in England and Wales.

The screenwriter also defended previous comments made on how London is no longer an English city – and insisted it was ‘not a racist remark’.

The comments come as Fawlty Towers is set to be revived after more than 40 years.

Cleese slammed the BBC in 2020 for temporarily removing an episode of the show from its streaming platform because of ‘racial slurs’.

He has previously told LBC he is in favour of trigger warnings on TV – but added that it is a ‘mood that will pass’ because ‘everyone is super sensitive at the moment’.

Speaking to The Oldie magazine, Cleese said: ‘Race doesn’t matter, but culture does.

‘I think that some cultures are superior to others, and we should not be frightened to say so.

‘A society that goes in for female genital mutilation is abhorrent and I happen to think that if people come to live in Britain, they should accept and adhere to our values.

‘I understand that some 20 per cent of Muslims in the UK would like to see Sharia law and I believe that’s wrong.’

In May 2019, Cleese came under fire after he posted on Twitter, formerly X – that ‘London was not really an English city any more’.

Defending this claim, the comedian said: ‘That was not a racist remark.’

Last year, Cleese released a 10-part discussion show for GB News titled The Dinosaur Hour.

Discussing this, he said: ‘I was allowed to say what I wanted and enjoyed that.

‘On one programme, we had three academics and discussed this whole woke business.

‘What annoys me is how some people think they have invented kindness, but kindness has always been there.

‘Kindness is everywhere, and much of my comedy is about teasing people with affection.’

Cleese wrote BBC Two’s Fawlty Towers – which was broadcast from 1975 to 1979 for two seasons – with his ex-wife Connie Booth, 83.

In 2020, the BBC removed an episode of Fawlty Towers from UKTV over ‘racial slurs’.

Titled The Germans, Cleese’s hotelier upsets a German family with constant references to the Nazis.

Last month, Germany’s ambassador to the UK gave his endorsement to the controversial Fawlty Towers scene.

‘We here at the embassy think the iconic restaurant scene is funny,’ said a spokesman at the German embassy in London. ‘To quote Basil Fawlty, we think it’s ‘veally good’.’

Despite the controversy, Cleese confirmed a new West End production of the classic 1970s sitcom will include the scene in which a delusional Fawlty, suffering from a head injury, continually brings up the Second World War.

It comes after Cleese revealed he is forking out up to £17,000 a year to pay for stem cell therapy to combat the side-effects of ageing.

He admitted the fee was hefty was claimed it’s ‘worth it if you’re buying yourself a few extra years’.

Cleese, who has been having the treatment for more than 20 years, is ensuring he doesn’t ‘look bad’ for his age by getting the ‘highest quality’ cells from Switzerland.