Queer Eye's grooming expert Jonathan Van Ness has criticized John Cleese after the actor-comedian made a transgender joke on social media.

Cleese made the joke on Twitter in response to a critic of his support for JK Rowling, the British author who has said that transgender rights give “cover to predators” in places such as bathrooms and locker rooms.

“Deep down, I want to be a Cambodian police woman. Is that allowed, or am I being unrealistic?” he joked.

In another tweet, Cleese said: "I'm afraid I'm not that interested in trans folks. I just hope they're happy and that people treat them kindly. Right now I'm more focussed on threats to democracy in America, the rampant corruption in the UK, the appalling British Press, the revelations about police brutality..."

(Related: Simone Biles responds to One Million Moms attack on Uber Eats ads with Jonathan Van Ness.)

Van Ness, who came out non-binary last year, called Cleese's tweets “cruel.”

"Dear @JohnCleese you’ve made several transphobic comments here. You do seem to not only be interested in trans folks, but also adding to transphobia at a time when trans people are being murdered world wide. Trans & non binary people aren’t being treated kindly,” they tweeted.

"So cruel to constantly punch down onto a marginalized group of people.”

“Trans & non-binary people have existed for thousands of years. We have defied societal expectations & found a way to survive through literally all of time,” Van Ness said. “We keep fighting for equality.”