Ricky Gervais Netflix special condemned by LGBTQ groups for ‘anti-trans people disguised as jokes’

Ricky Gervais’ new Netflix special SuperNature has been criticized for several transgender jokes, with US LGBTQ rights group Glaad calling it “dangerous.”

“We watched the Ricky Gervais ‘comedy’ special on Netflix so you don’t have to,” Gladad said in a statement published Tuesday evening. “It’s full of graphic, dangerous, anti-trans rants disguised as jokes. He also spews anti-gay rhetoric and disseminates inaccurate information about HIV.”

On the show, Gervais, a longtime controversial player, opens with a warning that many of his jokes will be ironic, explaining, “That’s when I say something I don’t really mean, for comedic effect, and you, as the audience “You laugh at the wrong thing because you know what the right thing is. It’s a way of satirizing attitudes.”

Shortly after, he makes jokes about “old-fashioned women.” They are the ones with wombs. Those damn dinosaurs. I like the new women. They are great, aren’t they? The new ones we’ve been seeing lately. The ones with beards and cocks.” He then imagines a conversation with a woman who objects to sharing a bathroom with a trans woman: “They are ladies, look at their pronouns. What about this person is not a lady?” He then replies, “Well, his penis.”

“Full disclosure: In real life, of course, I support trans rights,” Gervais says later. “I support all human rights, and trans rights are human rights. Live your best life. Use your favorite pronouns. Be the gender you feel you are. But meet me halfway, ladies: lose the cock. That’s all I’m saying.”

“Netflix has a policy that content ‘designed to incite hatred or violence’ is not allowed on their platform, but we all know that anti-LGBTQ content does just that,” Glaad’s statement said. “While Netflix is ​​home to some groundbreaking LGBTQ shows, it refuses to enforce its own comedy policies.

“The LGBTQ community and our allies have made it very clear that so-called comedians who spew hate instead of humor, and the media companies that give them a platform, will be held accountable. Meanwhile, there are LOTS of funny LGBTQ comedians to support.”

Gervais and Netflix have not yet responded to requests for comment.

On Tuesday Alexis Rangel, policy advisor at the National Center for transgender Equality in the US, said jokes that perpetuate “dehumanizing myths about transgender people” could fuel hatred against transgender people and “allow people to discriminate, harass and even commit violence”.

In SuperNature, Gervais disputes that “words really are violence,” saying, “These people are virtue signaling… they basically say that minorities don’t have a sense of humor, which is so condescending.”

The show also features a long routine about the origins of HIV, when Gervais says, “That’s not as good as it used to be, AIDS… in its heyday it was damn great, wasn’t it, Aids?” Then he poses as a gay man who refused sex in the 80s because of the risk: “Now it’s, ‘Give it here. I’ll be on pills for the rest of my life.’”

During this routine, he tells his audience, “Netflix already bought this, fuck ’em.”

Following protests and staff cuts this month in response to anti-trans jokes in Dave Chappelle’s latest special, The Closer, Netflix has updated its corporate culture guidelines to add a section on artistic expression stating that employees “may need to work on titles you consider harmful” and, if that’s not acceptable, “Netflix may not be the best place for you.”

Ted Sarandos, the CEO of Netflixhas defended Chappelle’s special, saying, “You can’t please everyone or the content would be pretty boring. I think the inclusion of the special on Netflix is ​​consistent with our comedy offerings.”

When Chappelle was attacked on stage by an audience memberhe joked that the attacker was “a trans man”.

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