John Cleese was due to speak at the Cambridge Union this FridayBruce Baker

Comedian and actor John Cleese has pulled out of a talk at the Cambridge Union scheduled for this Friday (12/11), stating: “Perhaps you can find a venue where woke rules do not apply.”

This comes following the Union’s decision to make a blacklist of speakers after a controversy last week, in which speaker Andrew Graham-Dixon did a Hitler impersonation and used racial slurs. Graham-Dixon has since apologised for his actions at the debate, stating that the impersonation was not an endorsement of Hitler’s views or actions, but aimed to highlight his evil. Union President Keir Bradwell has also offered an apology for his lack of intervention.

The actor himself famously impersonated the German dictator in the 1970s sitcom Fawlty Towers. Friday’s event on the Union’s Michaelmas term card describes Monty Python, which was cofounded by Cleese, as “often cited as the most influential comedy group there has ever been.”

Cleese stated: “I was looking forward to talking to students at the Cambridge Union this Friday, but I hear that someone there has been blacklisted for doing an impersonation of Hitler I regret that I did the same on a Monty Python show, so I am blacklisting myself before someone else does.”

The comedian and actor was due to appear alongside his Channel 4 production team, with whom he has created “Cancel me”: a documentary series which interviews subjects who claim to have been “cancelled”.