Gilliam sat down for an interview published Saturday by the U.K.’s Independent. The conversation was supposed to be about his latest film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. But the director said he was “so booored” talking about the Adam Driver-led movie, and instead let loose on several hot button issues.
The Oscar-nominated filmmaker, who is no stranger to controversy, expressed his disdain for the #MeToo movement, and lamented that too many men have been “hammered” by sex abuse complaints.
“#MeToo is a witch hunt,” he said. “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.”
The former member of the Monty Python comedy team also offered his opinions on Weinstein, who goes on trial next week in Manhattan on sex-crime charges.
“When you have power, you don’t take responsibility for abusing others. You enjoy the power. That’s the way it works in reality,” Gilliam insisted.
As for the women who accused Weinstein of rape, assault and/or harassment, Gilliam said they made certain choices.
“These were ambitious adults … There are many victims in Harvey’s life, and I feel sympathy for them, but then, Hollywood is full of very ambitious people who are adults and they make choices,” he said.
The U.S.-born British writer and director went on to say white men around the globe are under attack.
“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,” Gilliam said as he held up his hands. “I didn’t do it!”
After complaining about the treatment of white men, Gilliam told the interviewer he actually identifies as “a melanin-light male.”
“I don’t like the term black or white. I’m now referring to myself as a melanin-light male,” he stated. “I can’t stand the simplistic, tribalistic behaviour that we’re going through at the moment.”
Earlier this week, Gilliam spoke with Deadline about his upcoming AppleTV series Time Bandits with Taika Waititi, as well as his film career. When the conversation turned to politics, Gilliam compared Donald Trump’s presidency to an illness.
“The disease that America is suffering has now come to England with the election of Boris Johnson,” he said. “We’re all in the same madness and Cassandra’s box has been opened…these egotistical liars are springing up like mushrooms everywhere.”