Over the weekend, an interview with Terry Gilliam was released by the Independent and it has some pretty incendiary quotes in it, which knowing the filmmaker, isn’t terribly surprising. After 2018 was filled with adoration for Gilliam for finally getting to finish his long-awaited ‘Don Quixote’ film, 2019 was a year that found the filmmaker becoming…well, grumpy, to put it mildly. It seems with every interview he just gets more and more upset with the state of the world. Now, it appears he’s reached his breaking point and he’s not afraid to let everyone know about it. Even if his words are going to offend the masses.
And boy, oh boy, Gilliam is ready to offend. Get ready to clutch your pearls, dear reader.
In the new interview, Gilliam begins by lamenting about the state of the world and how he’s being labeled “offensive.” He doesn’t think that he’s nearly as offensive as we all make him out to be. Instead, it’s society that’s just looking to be offended.
“People work so hard to be offended now,” he said. “I don’t know why I’m doing it. It’s not fun anymore.”
Even though it’s not seen as “fun,” it doesn’t appear that Gilliam is ready to slow down and not say things that will assuredly rile people up. In fact, it seems as if the filmmaker is enjoying this new situation where people get so angry with his words. Dare we say, he’s displaying troll-like tendencies.
In the interview, he discusses the Harvey Weinstein situation, and his opinions are probably not going to be very well-received. Gilliam thinks the problem is with the power dynamic in Hollywood and how that’s been established, benefitting men, for decades. And while there are plenty who have taken advantage of that relationship, Gilliam wants everyone to know that not every white male is bad. In fact, he’s been in situations that could have gotten him in trouble but he didn’t act on them. So he doesn’t want to be part of a group that is “blamed for everything.”
“I can tell you about a very well-known actress coming up to me and saying, ‘What do I have to do to get in your film, Terry?’” he explained. “I don’t understand why people behave as if this hasn’t been going on as long as there’ve been powerful people. I understand that men have had more power longer, but I’m tired, as a white male, of being blamed for everything that is wrong with the world. I didn’t do it!”
This comment brings to mind previous comments Gilliam made about being a “Black lesbian.” At the time, he said that he wanted to be referred to as that, leading many to think the comments were ignorant, at best, and racist/bigoted, at worst. The filmmaker doubles down on those comments and, seemingly playfully, speaks to the interviewer about how he is going to refer to himself as a “melanin-light” man instead of “white” so that he can avoid being accused of things he didn’t do.
“I’m talking about being a man accused of all the wrong in the world because I’m white-skinned,” the filmmaker said. “So I better not be a man. I better not be white. OK, since I don’t find men sexually attractive, I’ve got to be a lesbian. What else can I be? I like girls. These are just logical steps.”
He added, “I’m just trying to make you start thinking. You see, this is the world I grew up in, and with Python, we could do this stuff, and we weren’t offending people. We were giving people a lot of laughter.”
Gilliam ends his conversation about talking about diversity and how he’s pro-diversity. However, he’s just upset with how the discourse in society seems to be “fundamentalist.”
“I’m into diversity more than anybody, but diversity in the way you think about the world, which means you can hate what I just said,” he explained. “That’s fine! No problem. I mean, you can believe whatever you want to believe, but fundamentalism always ends up being, ‘You have to attack other people who are not like you,’ and that’s what makes me crazy.”
Well, just like 2019, it appears that 2020 is going to be another year with Gilliam very upset with the world and forever attempting to get people talking, good or bad. This should be fun…