Terry Gilliam gets flak for diversity comments

Terry Gilliam at the Karlovy Vary film festival (Credit: Getty)
Terry Gilliam at the Karlovy Vary film festival (Credit: Getty)

Director Terry Gilliam is taking heat online for remarks he’s made about diversity.

The former Monty Python star was asked about a recent comment from the BBC’s head of comedy Shane Allen.

Allen said that if the comedy troupe were to form 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’.

Speaking at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Gilliam replied: “You know I no longer want to be a white male and be blamed for everything; I tell the world I am a BLGT, Black Lesbian in Transition and my name is Loretta.

“Comedy is not assembled – a boy, a girl, white, black, a dog… I want to be trans-species. Transgender is not enough.”

It’s not gone down that well.

Gilliam was in the Czech Republic shopping his new movie The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, explaining that, contrary to reports, it will be hitting cinemas across Europe soon.

The film has been the centre of a legal battle between Gilliam and a former producer, who claims that he owns the rights.

Paulo Branco says that he signed a contract which means the film belongs to him, but Gilliam says that because he never produced any money, that contract then became void.

“It is about to be released broadly in Holland and Belgium,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.

“I think Cannes changed things. Paolo just went too far – ‘I will tell the festival not to show it’… It seems things are floating along nicely, although he did scare a lot of people away at one point.

“The Paris court did not exactly rule in [Branco’s] favour. It just did not change the very early ruling about a technicality. The press is saying that I have lost my rights – which is not true as I am the director and it is the producers that own the rights; for example Jeremy Thomas owns the rights to the script.”

The project, which stars Jonathan Pryce and Adam Driver, has been decades in gestation.

It originally starred Johnny Depp and the late French actor Jean Rocheforte, but the production was dogged with bad luck, from torrential storms to NATO jets buzzing the set.

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