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John Cleese, one of the members of the legendary British comedy group Monty Python, has once again trashed the woke culture with a hilarious tweet.
Not wishing to be left behind by Hank Azaria, I would like to apologise on behalf on Monty Python for all the many sketches we did making fun of white English people
We’re sorry for any distress we may have caused
— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) April 13, 2021
This dart was aimed at Hank Azaria, an actor best known for voicing various characters on The Simpsons. In the latest episode of the Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard podcast, the actor apologized for years as the voice of the Indian character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, one of the most memorable characters on The Simpsons.
In the podcast, Emmy Award-winning actor Hank Azaria took the opportunity to lecture on “white privilege”, explained the big problems he faced by having fame and money, talked about his addiction to alcohol, and his recovery thanks to getting in touch with his emotions.
One of the most cathartic moments of the podcast came when Hank Azaria apologized for having been part of the creation of the character of Apu, giving him voice for decades, and announced that he will no longer continue with the role.
The actor explained that this decision was a consequence of having been very moved by the fact that he was considered a racist.
The controversy with the Apu character began in 2017 by Hari Kondabolu, an American comic actor of Indian descent. Until that time where he was virtually unknown, he had been doing political comedy and participating in podcasts in which he complained about racism, inequality, and Indians being stereotyped.
In 2017 came his moment of fame when he released the documentary The Problem with Apu, in which he denounced that the character was racist and criticized that, in addition, he was given a voice by a white comedian, and not one of Indian origin like him.
The media echoed the controversy, taking advantage of the rise of the woke and cancel culture, which led the creators of The Simpsons to consider retiring the character. Hank Azaria’s recent statements are the final nail in the coffin of the Indian character Apu.
Hank Azaria will continue to play other characters in the series such as the Wiggun, the inept police chief who loves to eat donuts; Moe Szyslak, the tavern keeper of Dutch descent who is always grumpy and has attempted suicide on several occasions; or John Frink, the extremely intelligent but socially inept crackpot scientist.
Against woke culture
John Cleese’s sarcastic tweet exposes the hypocrisy and opportunism of the woke culture, which is only critical of certain stereotypes on racial grounds.
It is not the first time that John Cleese denounces that woke culture and political correctness are killing comedy.
In September 2020, in an interview for BBC Radio 4’s Today program, he declared, “I don’t think we should organise a society around the sensibilities of the most easily upset people because then you have a very neurotic society.”
“From the point of creativity, if you have to keep thinking which words you can use and which you can’t, then that will stifle creativity.”
He explained that he would “love to debate this with a woke,” and that the first question he would ask him would be, “Can you tell me a woke joke?”
He said he doesn’t know what a woke joke would look like, “other than very, very nice people being kind to each other. It might be heart-warming but it’s not going to be very funny.”
Ignacio Manuel García Medina, Business Management teacher. Artist and lecturer specialized in Popular Culture for various platforms. Presenter of the program "Pop Libertario" for the Juan de Mariana Institute. Lives in the Canary Islands, Spain // Ignacio M. García Medina es profesor de Gestión de Empresas. Es miembro del Instituto Juan de Mariana y conferenciante especializado en Cultura Popular e ideas de la Libertad.
Social Networks: @ignaciomgm