The new censorship also hits the theatrical adaptation of 'The Life of Brian'

Roald Dahl, Ian Fleming's James Bond, Agatha Christie's novels.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
22 May 2023 Monday 22:22
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The new censorship also hits the theatrical adaptation of 'The Life of Brian'

Roald Dahl, Ian Fleming's James Bond, Agatha Christie's novels... The new censorship, under the banner of political correctness in everything that refers to gender and race, has also reached the stage adaptation of The Life of Brian who is preparing John Cleese for its premiere next year.

An epitome of humor of irreverence, satire, surrealism and absurdity, Monty Python's iconic film comedy has survived since its inception in 1979 from prudes who raised their hands to their heads over their jokes and parodies . But now it has run into gender ideology and the lobby of those who challenge the biological definition of the sexes –considered regressive– and opt for another one based on identity and “what one feels”.

In one of the scenes of The Life of Brian, the character of Stan (actor Eric Idle) informs the members of the Popular Front of Judea that he wants to be a woman and to be called Loretta from then on, "because every man has the right to have children if that is their desire”, in a language formulated more than four decades ago but that would be signed today by some party that considers itself progressive.

What might be called “identity censorship”, focused primarily on issues of gender and race, has gained such traction in show business that some actors involved in the stage adaptation of the Monty Python film have told Cleese that the scene in the that Stan wants to become Loretta "is offensive and unacceptable." Come on, it's one thing to make fun of religion, and another to joke with men who feel and define themselves as women (or vice versa).

In the British world of literature, film and theater, the power of this lobby is so great that the writer J.K. Rowling has been accused of online transphobia for defending her biological sex and mocking an article that used the term "menstruating people" instead of "women." Along the same lines as British health, which encourages the reference to "people who give birth" instead of "mothers", which would make Stan (or Loretta) from Life of Brian happy. Universities and museums distance themselves from colonial and imperial ties...

In the film, Cleese's character replies to the man who wants to have children that it will be difficult for him because he lacks a uterus, but the Popular Front of Judea defends in any case his right to give birth (even if it is practically impossible). ) as a “symbol of our struggle against oppression.” The actor has complained about the pressure to withdraw that scene, but has not said if it will continue or not in the end, only that in the theatrical adaptation "there will be changes."

Brian's Life was criticized as "blasphemous" from a religious and clerical point of view (and even initially banned in Ireland), but it survived the censorship of its time. Monty Python would have it crude now, when references to sex, gender, race, physical appearance and disabilities are becoming taboo and a creator has to tread carefully to avoid being "cancelled". Roald Dahl's novels (author of Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) have been republished, as have those of Ian Fleming, to attenuate the macho behavior and language of James Bond, and even those of Agatha Christie to eliminate "references offensive to ethnicity”. The life of Brian has not been spared from the cavalry charge of political correctness either.