JOHN Cleese’s comments on Twitter have led to a backlash and accusations that what he said was racist.
Here’s what you need to know about what he said and the celebs who have criticised him.
What did he say that’s caused such anger?
Cleese wrote to his 5.6 million followers that friends had confirmed his previous opinion that London was no longer English.
He also noted the city’s strong pro-Remain stance in the Brexit referendum.
“Some years ago I opined that London was not really an English city any more,” he tweeted.
“Since then, virtually all my friends from abroad have confirmed my observation.
“So there must be some truth in it…
“I note also that London was the UK city that voted most strongly to remain in the EU.”
Why have celebs have spoken out?
His post drew a strong reaction from users condemning his comments, and questioning what it meant for a city to be English.
Celebs joined the many others who pointed out that the comedian now lives in the Caribbean.
Author Caitlin Moran was among the people commenting on his post, writing in response to his tweet: “John Cleese is in the process of moving to Nevis, in the Caribbean.
“I hope there’s a (sic) old Nevisian comedian ready to moan about how Charlestown won’t ‘really be a Nevisian town any more.’ Goddamn immigrants.”
Sherlock star Amanda Abbington tweeted: “What’s happened to John Cleese…?”
TV presenter Rick Edwards wrote: “Just when you think you can’t love John Cleese any more!! It turns out you can’t.
Comedian Dom Joly, 51, also criticised Cleese’s tweet and accused the former Monty Python star of making racist comments.
“John Cleese is one of my comedy heroes … Suddenly this thing came out of nowhere and it’s so depressing on so many levels,” he wrote.
“He’s clearly a really smart funny man but it is basically a very racist tweet. Secondly, it’s a racist tweet by a man who lives on a Caribbean island – the irony of that is insane.”
The Mayor of London said that Cleese is acting as if still inhabiting his famous Fawlty Towers character Basil Fawlty.
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“These comments make John Cleese sound like he’s in character as Basil Fawlty,” he said.
“Londoners know that our diversity is our greatest strength. We are proudly the English capital, a European city and a global hub.”
Representatives of Cleese have been contacted for comment on the online backlash.
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