On both a personal and professional level, it was kinda' weird that this would hit the same week that I officially passed the 5000 article mark at Bleeding Cool. See, Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was the subject of the very first article I ever wrote – it was actually my test article. So there's an almost "perfect circle" completeness to covering this – on top of the fact that I grew up a huge Monty Python fan.
So now I can push all that nostalgic bulls**t aside to say that Gilliam comes across as nothing more than just a sad, pathetic old white dude who rages at a world that's passed him by.
As easy as it would be to just tee off on the mountains of privilege and toxic masculine attitude bleeding out of his every word, I'm not sure wasting words on those too obtuse to know the damage their own words do is the best approach.
Instead (and with a nod to The Independent interviewer Alexandra Pollard's skilled ability to let Gilliam hang his career with his own words and not engaging in the fight), we're going to take a look at ten of the man-child's more glaring "gems" – from #MeToo to the burdens of being a white man to why he has every right to call himself a "black lesbian in transition" – as a quick-n-easy guide for the "overburdened white man" in your life to get their publicist to quit.
● Here, Gilliam makes the argument that the character Angelica (from The Man Who Killed Don Quixote) is a better person because she "takes responsibility" for what happened to her and doesn't just "point a finger".
It's important to note that in the film? Angelica was 15 years old when she got drawn into that life – apparently in Gilliam's eyes, that's more than old enough to know how the entertainment industry really works.
Not old enough to vote… or drive… or drink… but old enough to be able to know who's telling her the truth and who's bullshi**ing her? Sure! Why not?
"In the age of #MeToo, here's a girl [Angelica, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote] who takes responsibility for her state. Whatever happened in this character's life, she's not accusing anybody. We're living in a time where there's always somebody responsible for your failures, and I don't like this. I want people to take responsibility and not just constantly point a finger at somebody else, saying, 'You've ruined my life.'"
● Gilliam laments for the kind-hearted sexual assaulters who are getting caught up in this "mob mentality" rush to judgement – totally ignoring the fact that the reason why there are "mobs" of people throwing out accusations has to with the number of victims that grew over the years that it was ignored time and time again:
"Yeah, I said #MeToo is a witch hunt. I really feel there were a lot of people, decent people, or mildly irritating people, who were getting hammered. That's wrong. I don't like mob mentality. These were ambitious adults."
● While Gilliam will concede that there have been some very legitimate accusations made against a number of powerful men, he still doesn't see why we all can't have a good laugh about it:
"And those are true. But the idea that this is such an important subject you cannot find anything humorous about it? Wrong!"
● Taking the "Hey! I have friends who are_______" approach, Gilliam continues by (we're sure) accurately conveying the details of two stimulating convos he had with two actresses – we think Gilliam used these examples to say that… sexually assaulting and harrassing is okay because that's how it's always been?
"She has got her story of being in the room and talking her way out. She says, 'I can tell you all the girls who didn't, and I know who they are and I know the bumps in their careers.' The point is, you make choices. 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?' I don't understand why people behave as if this hasn't been going on as long as there've been powerful people."
● History books be damned! Terry Gilliam is too damn tired of having to carry the burden of a white man in today's society, people! Do you have any idea how hard it makes it for Terry Gilliam to count all that Python money or to have the privilege of being given budgets to make films no one will see? Some respect…
"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. [holds up hands] I didn't do it!"
● This next one doesn't need saracasm – sh*t, it doesn't even need an intro… the raw ignorance speaks volumes:
"It's been so simplified is what I don't like. When I announce that I'm a black lesbian in transition, people take offence at that. Why?"
● Ever notice how white people always seem to be the ones to jump on the "Oh, I don't see 'black' and 'white'"? Guess that's an easy stance to take when you're not being pulled over by the police because you were DWB (Driving While Black):
"I don't like the term black or white. I'm now referring to myself as a melanin-light male. I can't stand the simplistic, tribalistic behaviour that we're going through at the moment."
● We're not sure Gilliam actually understands what the word "logical" actually means… because this isn't it:
"I'm talking about being a man accused of all the wrong in the world because I'm white-skinned. 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."
● But remember – Terry Gilliam was in Python, people! Of course he knows what he's talking about – and he is quite positive that they never offended anyone. Ever. Because he would know… and make sure to thank him for getting you to think while you're at it:
"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."