John Cleese said he wants to discuss “woke issues” on his new GB News show but is struggling to secure guests, suggesting they are frightened of getting sacked.
The Fawlty Towers actor and comedian said the channel put forward “the most extraordinary offer that’s ever been made to anyone in the history of television”, confirming his 10-part GB News show titled The Dinosaur Hour will debut on October 29.
In an interview with Michelle Dewberry on GB News, 83-year-old Cleese said: “I want to discuss woke issues on The Dinosaur Hour and we couldn’t get people on.
“One woman said ‘It’s wrong even to discuss it’.
“In other words, they just want us to accept all their ideas and they’re not prepared to discuss them.”
Cleese created and starred in the classic sitcom Fawlty Towers and was one of the comedy troupe members behind the surreal sketch show Monty Python, both which first aired on the BBC.
The actor said an episode in season one of Fawlty Towers titled The Germans would “probably not” get made today.
“It would go from committee to committee to committee at the BBC and somebody would object to it,” he said.
“Their strength comes in their ability to get people fired.
“One university professor from Oregon told me that more people have been fired during the woke period than were fired during McCarthyism in the 50s.
“They go after people and an awful lot of people are very, very scared of that which is why people with a higher profile have to discuss it as they’re not frightened of getting fired.
“Most people are frightened of getting fired and the people who employ them are frightened of getting fired and that end of woke is not very nice.”
His comments come days after describing GB News presenter Mark Dolan as “really appalling” on Twitter, sharing a video compilation of him describing Meghan Markle as “Woko Mono” on several occasions.
Cleese added: “It seems to me that GB News is harming itself by putting out this nasty, vulgar rubbish.”
Explaining why he accepted GB News’ offer, Cleese said: “They came to me a few months ago and they made me the most extraordinary offer that’s ever been made to anyone in the history of television.
“They said ‘would you like to do 10 shows, you can do whatever you like’.
“Can you imagine the BBC doing that?
“It would be subject to committee A and then after committee A have approved it, you’d go to Committee B.
“They said you can do anything and I’ve had no interference of any kind and it has been joyful.”