Terry Gilliam Labels #MeToo Movement a "Witch Hunt," Compares Culture to "Mob Mentality"

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Terry Gilliam

During his interview with The Independent, the filmmaker spoke about a female character in his new film 'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,' noting that she's not "accusing" anybody, no matter what happened in her life.

In an interview with The Independent on Saturday, British filmmaker Terry Gilliam criticized the #MeToo movement and opined that white men are too often blamed in the current political and social climate.

The impetus for the conversation was Gilliam's new film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote starring Adam Driver, which the director and writer indicated he is "bored" of speaking about. In his brief comments about it, he said that Quixote's view of the world "is a noble one. It's about chivalry. It's about rescuing maidens. All these wonderful ideas."

When asked whether the film is about the clash between modern masculinity and old-fashioned ideas of manhood, Gilliam replied, "There's no room for modern masculinity, I'm told. The male gaze is over."

In reference to one of the female characters, Angelica, played by Joana Ribeiro, Gilliam went on to say, "In the age of #MeToo, here's a girl who takes responsibility for her state. Whatever happened in her character's life, she's not accusing anybody. We're living in a time when 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.'"

Later on in the interview, he called the #MeToo movement a "witch hunt," adding, "I really feel like 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."

Speaking about a time when a "well-known actress" — whom Gilliam doesn't name — approached the filmmaker and said, "What do I have to do to get in your film, Terry?" Gilliam argued, "I don't understand why people behave as if this hasn't been going on as long as there have been powerful people. I understand that men have had more power longer, but I'm tired, as a white male, for being blamed for everything that is wrong with the world."

Read the full interview here.