Over the past few years, when he wasn’t working on getting “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” made, director Terry Gilliam was making sure the world knew his opinion on just about everything and heard his voice. Because, according to Gilliam, the white male voice is simply being silenced these days.
In an interview with The Independent’s Alexandra Pollard that was supposed to center on “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” Gilliam decided that he was “so booored of talking about the film” — which took him 30 years to make — and instead pivoted to calling #MeToo “a witch hunt,” self-identifying as a “melanin-light male” (a callback to his earlier comments about identifying as “a black lesbian”), and stating that he’s tired of white males “being blamed for everything that is wrong with the world.”
If all of this sounds familiar, that’s because Gilliam made the same statements back in the summer of 2018. That was when he first publicly made the “I’m no longer a white man, I’m a black lesbian.” comment as a joke, as well as the idea that white men are “blamed for everything wrong in the world.” In his interview with The Independent, Gilliam stated, “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.”
He continued, “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. … I’m just trying to make you start thinking.” As the feature acknowledges, The Independent’s Pollard didn’t find Gilliam’s thought process all that logical.
“There’s no room for modern masculinity, I’m told,” Gilliam told The Independent, without citing a source. “‘The male gaze is over’.” This particular talking point trickled down into Gilliam talking about #MeToo and calling it a “witch hunt.”
“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.” He added, “There are many victims in Harvey [Weinstein’s] life and I feel sympathy for them, but then, Hollywood is full of very ambitious people who are adults and they make choices. We all make choices, and I could tell you who did make the choice and who didn’t.”
“The point is, you make choices,” Gilliam continued. “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. 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 just love arguing,” Gilliam said, at the end of the interview. “And if you’ve got a point, you should be able to argue your thing.”