The use of shock humour at the expense of trans women in Ricky Gervais’ new Netflix special has sparked a rapid backlash.
“I love the new chicks,” Gervais laughs a few minutes into his latest programme for the streaming behemoth. The recent ones. Those who have cocks and beards. I think they’re gold. ‘Oh, they want to use our toilets,’ say the old-fashioned ones. ‘What makes you think they shouldn’t use your restrooms?’ ‘This one is for the women!’ ‘Look at their pronouns — they’re ladies!’ What if this individual isn’t female?’ ‘Well, it’s his penis,’ says the narrator. ‘You fucked bigot, her penis!’ ‘What if he raps me?’ I think to myself. ‘What if she rapes you, you TERF whore!’
The abbreviation TERF stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist,” a feminist ideology that rejects trans women’s status as women.
In his new stand-up special, Ricky Gervais: SuperNature, which premiered on Tuesday, Gervais criticised other comedians and what is deemed amusing in today’s “awake, progressive times.” He said that rather than declaring a joke offensive, individuals should “just say you found it offensive,” because feelings are subjective.
Gervais also mentioned the emerging trend of “woke comedy,” in which comedians aim to create a “safe place” for the audience rather than anger them. “I tried to watch a little bit of it, but I decided I’d rather watch Louis C.K. masturbate,” he continued, gesturing to his groyne. “Can’t talk about him any longer,” she added. “His contract has been terminated.”
He also mentioned Kevin Hart, who was fired as the host of the 2018 Oscars when previous homophobic statements surfaced. The British comedian claimed that comedy would be jeopardised if comedians were unable to forecast what might be inappropriate in the future. “You have no idea who will be the most powerful mob.” The worst thing you can say now — the thing that will get you cancelled on Twitter and death threats — the worst thing you can say today is, ‘Women don’t have penises,’ right? That was really unexpected. ‘Women don’t have penises,’ according to a 10-year-old tweet. Why is this so? We didn’t think it was necessary!”
Gervais’ parody of woke culture was cancelled?
The Irish actor Liam Neeson is experiencing blowback from his confession that he once pondered a racist “vengeance” attack, according to Gervais’ riff on woke culture and getting cancelled. “When it happened, I thought to myself, ‘Oh, will I ever find Schindler’s List humorous again?’… He said, “Obviously, I still find it humorous.”
“In real life, of course, I support trans rights,” he said, shedding his shock humour for a moment. I am an advocate for all human rights, including trans rights. Live your best life, as the saying goes. Please use the pronouns that you like. Consider yourself to be the gender you believe you are. Ladies, however, meet me in the middle. Get rid of your cock. I’m not saying anything else.”
After the show premiered on Netflix, Gervais’ supporters and detractors reacted quickly on social media.
“Ricky Gervais is like a dick,” Alejandra Caraballo, an instructor at Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, remarked on Twitter. “He shows up on your phone unexpectedly, acts big and hard talking about trans people but is lot smaller in real life and can’t handle being called out on social media.”
“Ricky Gervais and his marketing team achieve their goal of becoming a Twitter trending topic. Meanwhile, trans individuals face a torrent of negativity from an increasingly trans hostile media and are at the bottom of the healthcare funding scale. Miss Freda Wallace, a British artist, remarked, “This is not a joke.”
“Ricky Gervais is just an extraordinarily lazy comic who hasn’t worked out that just because you’re insulting doesn’t mean you’re funny,” theatre composer, lyricist, and LGBTQ+ campaigner Charlie Caine said on Twitter, referring to the SuperNature special. Right-wing twits increasingly seem to think cruelty is amusing just because it is harsh and ‘triggers the libs.'”
The outcry against Netflix comedian Dave Chappelle over transphobic material in his most recent comedy special, The Closer, prompted a walkout by trans employees and allies at the streaming service. Chappelle went on to star in the Netflix comedy special Is a Joke, when he was attacked onstage while practising new material by a fan.
Ricky Gervais was a guest on the Jim Norton and Sam Roberts Show on Sirius XM last week
Ricky Gervais was a guest on SiriusXM’s Jim Norton & Sam Roberts Show last week, where he hinted at SuperNature’s potential backlash for being transphobic. He was replying to a question from co-host Sam Roberts about how his performance had angered Netflix staff.
“To be honest, I’m at a loss for words.” Because it’s simply jokes, it doesn’t seem contentious to me. I even explain what “irony” is at the start of the act, and everyone there – I don’t know how many people I played to – no complaints. Aren’t they amused by everything? However, everyone will be dissatisfied with it. Someone will complain about every line, either because they dislike it, don’t understand it, or because it comes after… The thing about comedy is this. I can think of at least 20 topics that are considered taboo. Every single person on the planet laughs at 19 of them and despises the one that touches them.”
Netflix has been contacted for comment by the Hollywood Reporter.
Netflix has been contacted for comment by the Hollywood Reporter. Netflix updated its cultural policy earlier this month to foster artistic expression.
“Entertaining the entire world is both an incredible opportunity and a daunting endeavour because viewers have such diverse preferences and perspectives. As a result, we provide a diverse selection of television episodes and films, some of which may be controversial. We provide ratings, material warnings, and simple parental controls to help members make educated choices about what they watch.”