Ricky Gervais repeatedly misgenders fictional trans woman in bizarre attempt to defend anti-trans Twitter rant
Comedian and Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais has attempted to address the controversy over his anti-trans Twitter rant in support of Harry Potter author JK Rowling last month.
Gervais faced calls to step down as the host of the 2020 Golden Globe Awards after he sided with Rowling as she aligned herself with a woman who pursued legal action to have “gender-critical views” protected under the UK Equalities Act.
In a series of offensive tweets, he claimed that those opposed to her had “created a dogma with its own blasphemy laws”.
He continued by replying to parody trans account Jarvis Dupont: “Those awful biological women can never understand what it must be like for you becoming a lovely lady so late in life. They take their girly privileges for granted. Winning at female sports and having their own toilets. Well, enough is enough.”
Exactly. We need to protect the rights of women. Not erode them because some men have found a new cunning way to dominate and demonise an entire sex.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) December 20, 2019
As Gervais prepares to host the awards ceremony for a fifth time next week, he clarified his ‘transphobic’ comments in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“Jarvis Dupont is a spoof Twitter account, and the joke is that [she’s] so woke that [she’s] actually gone full circle and does terrible things,” Gervais said, deliberately misgendering the fictional persona, who is written by a cis woman.
“And [her] latest [bit] is, ‘I’m trans now.’ And [she] gets all that wrong. And I responded by playing along with [her], saying, ‘Oh, you’re so much better than biological women because they’ve had a lifetime to get used to it.’
“Now, people saw my tweet and they thought [she’s] a real trans person, but I’m taking the piss out of Jarvis Dupont, who is actually a woman in real life.
“And this is the problem,” he continued. “You can say, ‘Listen, I was joking. It’s a joke.’ But that’s not always enough for people. They go, ‘Well, why were you joking?’ Also, add to that the nature of Twitter – it’s so curt, there’s no nuance, it’s there forever out of context.”
Gervais claimed that he doesn’t want to make fun of people for things they can’t control – such as their race or sexuality – but for some reason refuses to draw the line at trans people, whom he previously equated with predators.
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“Deep down, I want people to know I’m not a racist or a homophobe or a sexist,” he insisted. “They mustn’t be the targets. You mustn’t make those things the target to be ridiculed. You shouldn’t laugh at something they can’t help.”
Despite this, Gervais apparently has no regrets about targeting a vulnerable demographic who have no control over their gender identity, and plans to continue being as offensive as ever.
“People like the idea of freedom of speech until they hear something they don’t like,” he said. “So there’s still a pressure, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to water it down or back down and not say what I want.”