entertainment

Jonathan Van Ness slams John Cleese over trans joke - and in epic JVN fashion, of course

"So cruel to constantly punch down onto a marginalized group of people"

2020-11-24

Jonathan Van Ness has gone to town on John Cleese over the latter's recent trans joke on Twitter.

Fawlty Towers icon Cleese made a joke about gender on the social networking site over the weekend, while responding to a critic of his support of gender-critical Harry Potter writer JK Rowling.

The actor said "Deep down, I want to be a Cambodian police woman. Is that allowed, or am I being unrealistic?"

In another tweet, Cleese said: "I'm afraid I'm not that interested in trans folks. I just hope they're happy and that people treat them kindly. Right now I'm more focussed on threats to democracy in America, the rampant corruption in the UK, the appalling British Press, the revelations about police brutality..."

In response, Queer Eye star JVN said: "Dear @JohnCleese you’ve made several transphobic comments here. You do seem to not only be interested in trans folks, but also adding to transphobia at a time when trans people are being murdered world wide. Trans & non binary people aren’t being treated kindly [sic].

"Try being a trans, non binary, or gender non conforming person especially Black & Brown ones, ALONE in a rural town or ANYWHERE in the world. The @jk_rowling & @JohnCleese of the world could never."

The 33-year-old, who identifies as nonbinary, added: "So cruel to constantly punch down onto a marginalized group of people."

"Instead of worrying about American democracy worry about the transphobia gripping the UK," the star continued. "Worry about the staggering inequality your country faces & keep LGBTQ issues out of your chapped ass lip having mouth unless you due to some miracle become an ally.

JVN later added: "Trans & Non-Binary people have existed for thousands of years. We have defied societal expectations & found a way to survive through literally all of time. [...] We keep fighting for equality."

Read the Attitude December issue, available to download and to order globally now.

Subscribe in print and get your first three issues for just £3, or digitally for just £1.54 per issue.