Comedy actor John Cleese has been accused of being transphobic after admitting that he's "not that interested" in transgender rights.
The Monty Python star is facing backlash after revealing on Twitter that he's signed a letter of support for Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and her views on transgender issues.
"Deep down, I want to be a Cambodian police woman. Is that allowed, or am I being unrealistic?" he replied to someone who asked why he couldn't "just let people be who they want to be."
When asked whether he accepted that Rowling made "some rather indelicate statements regarding those people who identify differently," Cleese quipped, "That depends who I identify with today…"
"I'm afraid I'm not that interested in trans folks," he admitted when pressed to "be upfront" about his views on Rowling's controversy.
"Does [that] sound hard-hearted?" he asked.
He later complained that critics showed a "complete lack of perspective" as well as a "complete lack of a sense of humor," asking, "Heard a woke joke yet?"
Cleese later admitted his "understanding is superficial," but wrote, "When a woman who was once a man is competing against women who have always been women, I think she has an advantage, because she inherited a man's body, which is usually bigger and stronger than a woman's.
"Does that prove phobia?" he asked his critics.
His fans were outraged at the statements.
"Oh, man. I've been a fan of Monty Python & some of your other work for years and it's so disappointing to see you take such a hurtful stance on this issue," tweeted one.
"Trans people are being attacked & invalidated from every angle, & instead of being supportive & uplifting? You say this."