You know how it goes by now. Every year or so, Ricky Gervais emerges with a terrible take on something or other, then people notice and get mad at him, then he gets defensive and pretends it was satire, then he fucks off for a while, only to do it all again later on down the line. Well, it’s that time of year again. Merry Christmas, folks!
This time, the comedian is under fire for a series of transphobic tweets, which he says are actually all a big joke.
The trouble all started earlier this week, when author J.K. Rowling came under fire for her support of Maya Forstater, whose transphobic tweets cost her a job at a London think tank.
The US version of conservative magazine The Spectator published an article on the controversy, and the author of the piece tweeted it out, saying:
“Speaking as a trans woman, the thought that I will no longer be welcome in a fictional school for wizards has destroyed me.”
Gervais then inserted himself into the conversation, responding:
“Those awful biological women can never understand what it must be like for you becoming a lovely lady so late in life. They take their girly privileges for granted. Winning at female sports and having their own toilets. Well, enough is enough.”
When a follower asked him to remember the importance of “kindness”, he responded:
“Exactly. We need to protect the rights of women. Not erode them because some men have found a new cunning way to dominate and demonise an entire sex.”
When he faced criticism for the tweets, which were perceived by many as transphobic, Gervais insisted that he was merely “playing along with a spoof account” and people didn’t get the joke.
He’s since dug his heels in further:
I fear that some people’s inability to discuss sensitive or contentious issues without insult or threat will lead to society ending like a battle scene from Game Of Thrones. Hopefully, science, truth & common sense has all the dragons.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) December 21, 2019
I guess we’re left with two options here. Either Ricky Gervais actually believes all this stuff, or he’s just having a cheap shot at the expense of trans people, purely for the sake of being a jerk about it. Either way, here’s hoping he logs off for a while.
I’ve never gotten more hate on here than when I express support for trans people. But I see no reason to exclude or be hateful to one of the most vulnerable populations. Trans women are women, trans men are men, that does not take away from my rights and being who I am.
— Mara Wilson (@MaraWilson) December 19, 2019