Ricky Gervais transphobic

Ricky Gervais’ new Netflix stand-up comedy special is out, and it’s transphobic trash

One review says: ‘As is all too frequent these days, the longest riff is reserved for the humiliation of trans people’

The new Ricky Gervais standup special on Netflix, SuperNature, has been released to controversy and criticism for the “jokes” aimed at trans people. Gervais has been a controversial character in comedy for his entire career, but at a time when trans people face more hardships than ever as the media stokes a culture war and hatred from TERFs on social media is at fever pitch – standup routines like this fuel a false narrative and normalise hate. The American LGBTQ rights group Glaad have announced a lengthy statement, condemning Ricky Gervais and SuperNature for its transphobic content.

In a statement posted on 24th May, Glaad said: “We watched the Ricky Gervais comedy special so you don’t have to.It’s full of graphic, dangerous, anti-trans rants masquerading as jokes. He also spouts anti-gay rhetoric and spreads inaccurate information about HIV.

“Netflix has a policy that content ‘designed to incite hate or violence’ is not allowed on their platform, but we all know that anti-LGBTQ content does exactly that. While Netflix is home to some groundbreaking LGBTQ shows, it refuses to enforce its own policy in comedy. The LGBTQ community and our allies have made it very clear that so-called comedians who spew hate in place of humor, and the media companies who give them a platform, will be held accountable. Meanwhile, there are PLENTY of funny LGBTQ comedians to support.”

Ricky Gervais opens the SuperNature Netflix special with a statement pre-excusing the transphobia to come, saying his jokes are ironic:“That’s when I say something I don’t really mean, for comic effect, and you, as an audience, you laugh at the wrong thing because you know what the right thing is. It’s a way of satirising attitudes.”

I’m going to write what Gervais says in SuperNature now – so here is a big transphobia content warning. “The old fashioned women, the ones with wombs. Those fucking dinosaurs. I love the new women. They’re great, aren’t they? The ones we’ve been seeing lately, the ones with beards and cocks. I love them. ‘Ooo they want to use our toilets’ – why shouldn’t they use your toilets? ‘They’re for ladies’ – they are ladies, look at their pronouns [sarcastic]. What about this person isn’t a lady? ‘Well, his penis.'”

Later on in the Netflix SuperNature special, Ricky Gervais denies transphobia and says: “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 you feel that you are. But meet me halfway ladies, lose the cock.” Even in his apparent defence of trans people, Ricky Gervais perpetuates a transphobic view that genitalia equates to gender identity. I looked through Ricky Gervais’ likes on Twitter – he has liked every tweet by known transphobes and trans exclusionary radial feminists complimenting SuperNature.

The Independent condemned SuperNature with a two star review, saying “As is all too frequent these days, the longest riff is reserved for the humiliation of trans people. In his new Netflix special, the comedian seems more comfortable with jokes that rely on a cheap shock factor rather than any emotional or creative truth – and the audience hoot and holler along with all the bigotry.”

The discussion around Ricky Gervais’ Netflix special SuperNature and its transphobic content has caused James Acaster’s standup set to circulate again, more potent than ever. Acaster says: “They say whatever they like, edgy comedians. Nobody can tell them what they can and can’t say. They walk onstage and do ten solid minutes just slagging off transgender people. Straight out the gate, just making fun of trans people.

“And if people on the internet get upset about it, the comedian is always like ‘Bad luck! That’s my job. I’m a stand-up comedian. I’m meant to challenge people. If you don’t like being challenged, don’t watch my shows, What’s the matter guys? Too challenging for you?’ Oh yeah, because you know who’s been long overdue a challenge? The trans community.”

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