It was only Tuesday, but Ricky Gervais’ new Netflix comedy special was already drawing criticism for its transgender jokes.
His “SuperNature” special drew on a wide range of controversial topics, including transgender people, Africans, Chinese people, Holocaust victims and global pandemics as well as paedophilia.
The one thing you can’t joke about is identity politics. I’ll bring up topics like AIDS, cancer, the Holocaust, rape, and paedophilia. The transgender issue is one you should never make light of. ‘They just want to be treated equally,’ he said.'” I feel the same way. It’s for this reason that I included them in my stand-up set,” Gervais quipped.
The “new women,” on the other hand, are “the ones with beards and (penises),” according to Gervais, who defines “old-fashioned women.”
In a mock debate sparked by “old-fashioned women,” Gervais then takes aim at pronouns.
How will I know what to do? How do you feel about that? You (expletive) TERF?” the comedian asks in an exchange of back and forth. It stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminists,” or TERF for short. Feminists who are anti-trans are labelled as such.
“Poor Kevin Hart” is how Gervais refers to Hart’s decision to step down as host of the 2018 Oscars after his homophobic tweets came to light.
The comedian shifts his attention to transgender people once more, implying that the community is currently the thing that will get you booted from the show. “It’s impossible to predict what will be offensive in the future,” he explains.
When Gervais was younger, it would have been easy for him to threaten his parents with the fact that he would be transgender or they could buy him a new bike.
Subsequently, he confesses to expressing “misinformed” rhetoric and being “childish,” but he still preferred to be provocative in his comedic style.
“We don’t mean to offend anyone. Of the controversial comedians, he said, “that is not our goal.” “We’re just trying to lighten the mood. I’m just trying to have a good time with you.”
Full disclosure: In real life, of course, I support trans rights. I believe that transgender people have the same rights as everyone else. Make the most of your life. Choose the pronouns that are most comfortable for you. Identify the gender you perceive yourself to be. Ladies, I’ll meet you halfway. It’s time to get rid of it. Nothing more, please.”
In response to Gervais’ special, GLAAD issued a statement.
There are a lot of anti-trans rants in (Gervais’ special), but they’re all disguised as jokes.” Anti-gay rhetoric and inaccurate information about HIV are among the things he spouts, according to the organisation. In his stand-up special, Gervais made ill-informed jokes about people living with HIV.
On the heels of that GLAAD said, “Netflix prohibits content ‘designed to incite hatred or violence,’ but we all know anti-LGBTQ content does exactly that. When it comes to comedy, Netflix will not enforce its own policies, despite having some ground-breaking LGBTQ shows.
So-called comedians who spew hate instead of humour and media companies that give them a platform have made it clear they will be held accountable, the LGBTQ community and our allies have said, the organisation concluded. When it comes to supporting LGBTQ comedians, there are countless options.
Netflix has a policy that content "designed to incite hate or violence" is not allowed on their platform, but we all know that anti-LGBTQ content does exactly that. While Netflix is home to some groundbreaking LGBTQ shows, it refuses to enforce its own policy in comedy. 3/4
— GLAAD (@glaad) May 24, 2022
Gervais’ comments quickly sparked a backlash from critics who labelled them “transphobic.”
A new stand-up show by Ricky Gervais is available on Netflix today. 5 minutes in and he’s making jokes about trans women attacking & raping people in public bathrooms. When it comes to him, we are nothing more than a punchline, an enemy, or something less than human,” one person wrote on Twitter.
Ricky Gervais has a new stand up show out on Netflix today.
5 minutes in and he’s making jokes about trans women attacking & raping people in public bathrooms. To him we exist only as a punchline, a threat, something less than human.
— Esme (@discount_Ripley) May 24, 2022
John Mulaney and Dave Chappelle have been feuding ever since the comedian made a surprise appearance on Mulaney’s show and was booed by the audience.
Ricky Gervais’ “whole bit is screeching and cackling at marginalised groups being brutally murdered daily,” wrote another.
In a tweet, a critic slammed Ricky Gervais as “an incredibly lazy comedian who has not worked out that just because a joke is offensive does not mean it is funny.”