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Ricky Gervais, who has a tasteless history of making jokes about trans people, is unsurprisingly opposed to cancel culture

Emma Powys Maurice August 10, 2020
Ricky Gervais

The controversial comedian Ricky Gervais. (Getty)

The controversial comedian Ricky Gervais has shared his entirely unsurprising take on cancel culture, which he feels is “not cool”.

Gervais, 59, is known for his brand of irreverent, offensive humour, which has often been at the expense of the transgender community. Last year he faced calls to step down as the host of the 2020 Golden Globe Awards when he sided with JK Rowling and her anti-trans views.

Like the Harry Potter author, Gervais has now spoken out against the “celebrity cancel culture” that is causing contentious figures to lose their jobs.

“Everyone’s got a different definition of cancel culture,” he said in an interview with Metro. “If it is choosing not to watch a comedian because you don’t like them, that’s everyone’s right.

“But when people are trying to get someone fired because they don’t like their opinion about something that’s nothing to do with their job, that’s what I call cancel culture and that’s not cool.”

Gervais has previously declared that he would “never” apologise for any of his jokes, and appears to see no difference between knocking the celebrity elite and mocking marginalised minorities.

He continued to defend the offensive humour on which he’s founded his career, saying: “Everyone’s allowed to call you an a**ehole, everyone’s allowed to stop watching your stuff, everyone’s allowed to burn your DVDs.

“But you shouldn’t have to go to court for saying a joke that someone didn’t like. And that’s what we get dangerously close to.”

He then referenced a tweet he wrote earlier this year about freedom of speech which quoted Winston Churchill.

“Someone came back with, ‘You know he was a white supremacist?’ And I wrote back, ‘Not in that tweet he isn’t’. It’s like if someone did something once that’s wrong, everything they did was wrong.

“You are allowed to have things in common with bad people as long it’s not the bad things. I’m a vegetarian and I love dogs, like Hitler. But the only thing I have in common with Hitler are the good bits!”

More: cancel culture, golden globes, JK Rowling, ricky gervais

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