Ricky Gervais is not one to stray from the controversy, after all, he’s a comedian that consistently pushes boundaries. For him, really nothing is off-limits, but that’s because he can find brevity in almost everything.
He’s received backlash countless times, whether that’s from him posting on social media or making comments during past hosting duties for the Golden Globes. Regardless, he takes the criticisms in stride and remains unapologetic to those who claim to be offended.
Recently, Gervais made some joking comments about transsexual people and suffice it to say, it ruffled quite a few feathers, especially with actress Patricia Arquette.
The whole convoluted story stems from J.K Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, who tweeted support for Maya Forstater, a researcher who was fired from her position for tweeting that a person could not change the biological sex that they were born with.
Gervais, being the comedian he is, sent out his own tweets that sided with Rowling and were a play on an article by the Spectator which was mockingly written as an angry trans woman criticizing Rowling’s comments. Confusing, I know.
“Those awful biological women can never understand what it must be like for you becoming a lovely lady so late in life,” Gervais wrote. “They take their girly privileges for granted. Winning at female sports and having their own toilets. Well, enough is enough.”
Not surprisingly, people on social media had something to say about those tweets. But true to Gervais’ form, he interacted with them. One particular user asked him if there was any topic that he considered off-limits. His response was typical Ricky Gervais form.
“I also make jokes about AIDS, Cancer, Famine, and The Holocaust. Those things do a bit of harm too. But jokes don’t. Have a nice day,” he said.
But perhaps the person who was the most offended by his comments was Patricia Arquette. The actress has been a big proponent of transgender rights and equal treatment. In fact, her sister, Alexis Arquette, who was an actress and transgender rights activist, died three years ago. Patricia has made it a point to support her cause and let her memory live on.
— ET Canada (@ETCanada) January 2, 2020
Speaking with Variety Magazine, Arquette was wondering if Gervais would make an apology for his perceived transphobic comments, something very unlikely from a person like Gervais.
“I think it’s a really important conversation for everybody to have. Obviously, I have very strong feelings about protecting the trans community,” she told Variety on the red carpet at the BAFTA awards.
“I just don’t think anything’s funny about making fun of the trans community. They’re really persecuted, so I don’t think it’s funny.” During her acceptance speech, she would continue to issue her thoughts and feelings on the matter.
“Trans people are still being persecuted,” she said. “I’m in mourning every day of my life, Alexis, and I will be for the rest of my life for you, until we change the world so trans people are not persecuted — and give them jobs. They’re human beings, let’s get rid of this bias we have everywhere
#PatriciaArquette on #RickyGervais' #Transphobia #Controversy: ‘I Don’t Think It’s #Funny’.#Women #Transgender #LGBTQIA #Entertainment #TV #Hate #Bigotry #Discrimination #Transphobia #MoralPanic #HateSpeech #StochasticTerrorism #HateCrimes https://t.co/7YplwmVCnA
— Susan Larson ♀️🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ (@Susan_Larson_TN) January 5, 2020
On the day of the Golden Globes, where Gervais will once again be hosting the event, it’s to be expected that he’ll throw out some jabs on issues, although he did say that he didn’t think he would targeting anyone, specifically.
Barry Adleman, a telecast executive producer, was asked about if he was worried about Gervais saying anything too offensive during the Golden Globes. “You don’t know where he’s going to go, but I think he can read the room. I think he knows what’s going on in society. And he’s a professional,” he said.
The Golden Globes are on tonight, so we’ll have to sit back and wait for who or what might be in the crosshairs of Gervais’ jokes.