17:13 GMT23 November 2020
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    J.K. Rowling came under fire in early June for controversial tweets she posted about the transgender community. Her stance has caused fans and stars like Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Eddie Redmayne to speak out against her.

    British comedian John Cleese has been accused of being transphobic after coming out in support of Harry Potter writer J.K. Rowling.

    The 81-year-old Monty Python star was attacked online after signing a letter defending Rowling amid a huge backlash over her views on transgender issues.

    “Deep down, I want to be a Cambodian police woman. Is that allowed, or am I being unrealistic?” he replied to someone who asked why he couldn’t “just let people be who they want to be.”

    Asked whether he accepted that Rowling made “some rather indelicate statements regarding those people who identify differently,” Cleese quipped, “That depends who I identify with today…”.

    “I’m afraid I’m not that interested in trans folks,” he admitted. “I just hope they’re happy and that people treat them kindly,” he wrote.

    Cleese added that critics showed a “complete lack of perspective” as well as a “complete lack of a sense of humor,” asking, “Heard a woke joke yet?”.

    Cleese later admitted his “understanding is superficial,” but wrote, “When a woman who was once a man is competing against women who have always been women, I think she has an advantage, because she inherited a man’s body, which is usually bigger and stronger than a woman’s."

    “Does that prove phobia?” he asked his critics.

    Cleese’s comments sparked a backlash on Twitter.

    “Damn. Really wasn’t expecting someone as talented and amazing as John Cleese to be anti-trans,” author Adam Tierney wrote with a sad-face emoji.

    “Dude … John Cleese being Transphobic was not something I saw coming and I am thoroughly disappointed by it,” one follower wrote, while trans author Lilah Sturges said he was “transphobic in a way that attempts and fails to be funny.”

    “This is an ex-comedian,” Sturges wrote.

    Tags:
    John Cleese, JK Rowling, Harry Potter, Transgender Rights
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