Ricky Gervais has defended material from his new show amid accusations it was transphobic.
Controversial comedian and actor Ricky Gervais' new Netflix comedy special titled SuperNature dropped yesterday and some viewers were less than impressed with the material. The The Office co-creator made a series of jokes that some people felt crossed the line.
Ricky made several jokes about transitioning and body parts throughout the show. He said: "I love the new women. They’re great, aren’t they? The new ones we’ve been seeing lately. The ones with beards and c***s, they’re as good as gold, I love them."
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He added that "old fashioned women are dinosaurs, the ones with wombs," before trailing off into other material. Viewers slammed the jokes on Twitter, calling him transphobic and accusing him of "punching down."
One comment said: "Ricky Gervais is also jumping on the transphobic bandwagon by punching down on an already-assaulted group with anti-trans jokes than punch up for something actually funny."
Another added: "Can’t just be me that doesn’t find Ricky Gervais being transphobic for an hour and a half one bit funny."
Later in the special, Ricky clarifies that he has and will always support trans people with a backhanded comment. He said: "Okay, full disclosure. In real life, of course I support trans rights.
"I support all human rights and trans rights are human rights. Live your best life, use your preferred pronouns. Be the gender that you feel you are. But meet me halfway ladies – lose the c***. That’s all I’m saying."
Ricky appeared on the One Show last night and addressed the reaction, saying comedy should be a method of dealing with hardship and trauma. He said: "Well, I think that’s what comedy is for really, to get us through stuff and ideally taboo subjects, because I want to take the audience to a place it hasn’t been before even for a split second.
"And you know, most offence comes from when people mistake the subject of a joke with the actual target, so it starts there. 'What’s he gonna say?' I tell the joke. They laugh. I think we second guess the audience too much. Even in narrative stuff, like After Life, you know, people saying, the audience hate this, of course they can, real life is much worse. These are just jokes.
He added: "They don’t mean anything. They’re just for you to laugh for an hour or so."
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