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John Cleese: Cancel Me

Comedy legend John Cleese is to set forth into the minefield of cancel culture to explore why a new “woke” generation is trying to rewrite the rules on what can and can’t be said, in a new series for Channel 4, produced by Expectation.

With every passing day, it seems another comedian or celebrity is called out and often cancelled for comments deemed to be offensive to one group or another.

Having spent the last seven decades writing and starring in hit comedies, John Cleese knows a thing or two about what’s funny. In this landmark series, he asks whether you can ever make seriously good comedy without someone getting hurt.

But this is about more than just comedy. John will ask why so many people are so ready to take offence at so much of what happens in modern British life. Whether in the world of art, literature, or politics, why is it that the default position has become: Cancel now, ask questions later?

John will meet some well-known faces who have found themselves on the receiving end of cancel culture. And he’ll meet some of those doing the cancelling too, as he attempts to unpack what it is that’s really driving them and asks what our appetite for silencing those whose views we don’t wholly share says about us as a society.

John Cleese is a man who’s spent his entire career making comedy that offends people. And he’s very proud of that fact. Now he asks – is offending people really such a bad thing? And is Cancel Culture really doing anyone any good?

John Cleese said: “I’m delighted to have a chance to find out, on camera, about all the aspects of so-called Political Correctness. There’s so much I really don’t understand, like: how the impeccable idea of ‘Let’s all be kind to people’ has been developed in some cases ad absurdum. I want to bring the various reasonings right out in the open so that people can be clearer in their minds what they agree with, what they don’t agree with, and what they still can’t make their mind up about.”

John Cleese: Cancel Me was commissioned by Channel 4 Specialist Factual commissioning editor Shaminder Nahal and will be made by Expectation with series producer Owen Braben and executive producer Ben Wicks.

Ian Katz, Chief Content Officer added: “The argument over what it’s OK to say and what isn’t is one of the thorniest issues of our age and there are few people better equipped to stride into it than John, a comic legend who combines genuine curiosity with a healthy disregard for what anyone thinks of him.”

Ben Wicks added: “After being a comedy legend for seven decades, pushing the boundaries and amassing millions of appreciative fans the world over – John has decided to risk it all by talking to a generation of people desperate to cancel him. And for that we salute him!”

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