Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th and current Dalai Lama, outraged feminists on Twitter last week by telling a BBC News reporter that if a female were to succeed him in his role, she should be attractive.
The Dalai Lama’s remarks echoed similar comments he made during a 2015 interview with the BBC, when he said that an unattractive female Dalai Lama would be of “not much use.”
“If a female Dalai Lama comes, she should be more attractive,” the Dalai Lama told BBC News’ Rajini Vaidyanathan on Thursday after she asked him whether he’d be open to a female successor.
If she’s not attractive, the Dalai Lama said while twisting his face into a frown, “people, I think prefer, not see her, that face.”
The exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism stood firm when Vaidyanathan pressed him on the subject by asking if inner beauty wasn’t more important.
“Yes, I think both,” he answered. “Real beauty is inner beauty, that’s true. But we’re human beings. I think the appearance is also important.”
The 83-year-old also expressed views on immigration that might raise progressives’ eyebrows. While he openly criticized President Donald Trump’s America-first platform as “wrong,” he said it was “better” to “keep Europe for Europeans.”
His Holiness said that countries in Europe should take in refugees and give them education and training, but only with the aim of having them “return to their own land.”
When Vaidyanathan asked if refugees should be permitted to remain in European nations if they wished, he said: “Limited number … OK. But whole Europe eventually become Muslim country? Impossible. Or African country? Also impossible.”
“You have to be practical. It’s impossible for everyone to come,” he added.
And then he went off on immigrants. I guess the @DalaiLama has had enough education while being a refugee in India for the last 60 years? He should lead by example and go back to Tibet. pic.twitter.com/s5WAXx8puP
— Yup (@Much_Truth) June 29, 2019
The Dalai Lama gets canceled?
Several high-profile progressives were aghast at the illustrious leader’s comments. An informal movement to “cancel” the Dalai Lama was swiftly organized on Twitter.
“When even the Dalai Lama disappoints you is peak 2019,” lamented gun control activist Shannon Watts.
When even the Dalai Lama disappoints you is peak 2019. https://t.co/GnMI7jimAt
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) June 28, 2019
“Having to cancel the Dalai Lama is about as 2019 as it gets,” tweeted feminist author Jessica Valenti.
Having to cancel the Dalai Lama is about as 2019 as it gets https://t.co/VHUPNRJSdF
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) June 28, 2019
Liberal comedian Sarah Silverman was shocked by the betrayal of woke ideology.
“The Dalai Lama said a female successor would have to be hot. We are so far past seven in the seals of the apocalypse department,” she tweeted.
The Dalai Lama is having quite the day. He's cancelled by the left and embraced by the alt-right: pic.twitter.com/LirX7gMoVo
— Zachary (@TheDailyZack) June 28, 2019
Many other commenters on social media were stunned that the man so often looked to as a global figure of peace and nonviolence might hold some common ground with right-leaning Americans. The insinuation appeared to be that the Dalai Lama’s more conservative viewpoints are irreconcilable with his enlightened persona.
Conservatives have often complained that liberals try to imperiously hold the rest of the country to the precepts of their ever-shifting ideology. Those who fail – or refuse – to bend a knee are said to be cast out of polite society as heretics.