Ricky Gervais’ new comedy special SuperNature was released on Netflix just hours ago, but he’s already getting a lot of heat over his graphic jokes mocking the trans community.
Just four minutes in, Gervais takes aim at trans women. “Oh, women!,” Gervais began. “Not all women, I mean the old-fashioned ones. The old-fashioned women, the ones with wombs. Those fucking dinosaurs. I love the new women. They’re great, aren’t they? The new ones we’ve been seeing lately. The ones with beards and cocks. They’re as good as gold, I love them. And now the old-fashioned ones say, ‘Oh, they want to use our toilets.’ ‘Why shouldn’t they use your toilets?’ ‘For ladies!’ ‘They are ladies — look at their pronouns! What about this person isn’t a lady?’ ‘Well, his penis.’ ‘Her penis, you fucking bigot!’ ‘What if he rapes me?’ ‘What if she rapes you, you fucking TERF whore?’”
TERF stands for “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist,” a term used to describe feminists who separate the rights of trans women from women’s rights in their advocacy.
At the end of the special, Gervais issued a disclaimer that his jokes aimed at the trans community were solely for shock value: “Full disclosure: In real life of course I support trans rights,” Gervais explained. “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.”
Last year, Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special The Closer generated a huge backlash over remarks about the trans and LGBTQ+ communities, which sparked an employee walkout at the streamer.
In an interview with Stephen Colbert on Late Night last week to promote the special, Gervais defended his decision to joke about “taboo” subjects, saying he wants to take “smart” audiences to a place they haven’t been before. “I think people get offended when they mistake the subject of a joke with the actual target, and smart people know you can deal with anything, particularly when dealing with something like irony,” he told Colbert.
The social media backlash to SuperNature was quick.
“Ricky Gervais has a new stand-up show out on Netflix today,” a trans woman tweeted. “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.”
Another wrote, “If you’re a comedian and you support trans people it’s your responsibility to be speaking out against Dave Chapelle and the new Ricky Gervais special. At this point you can’t call yourself an ally if you’re not publicly taking a stand against it. It’s the bare minimum.”
Another canceled his Netflix membership: “In honour of Ricky Gervais and his 2-4-1 rant on trans people and cancel culture, I am in fact, cancelling. Thanks @netflix #TransRightsAreHumanRights”
You can see a sample of additional reactions below:
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