Ricky Gervais has shared his thoughts on ‘cancel culture’, saying that everyone has “a different definition” of the term.
Speaking to Metro in a new interview, Gervais spoke of how he thinks cancel culture is “not cool” and objects to internet users “trying to get someone fired” because they disagree with their sense of humour.
“If it is choosing not to watch a comedian because you don’t like them, that’s everyone’s right,” Gervais said. “But when people are trying to get someone fired because they don’t like their opinion about something that’s nothing to do with their job, that’s what I call cancel culture and that’s not cool.
“You turning off your own TV isn’t censorship. You trying to get other people to turn off their TV, because you don’t like something they’re watching, that’s different.”
He added: “Everyone’s allowed to call you an arsehole, everyone’s allowed to stop watching your stuff, everyone’s allowed to burn your DVDs, but you shouldn’t have to go to court for saying a joke that someone didn’t like.
“And that’s what we get dangerously close to. If you don’t agree to someone’s right to say something you don’t agree with, you don’t agree with freedom of speech.”
Gervais then referenced a tweet he wrote earlier this year “about freedom of speech, quoting Winston Churchill”.
“Someone came back with, ‘You know he was a white supremacist?’ And I wrote back, ‘Not in that tweet he isn’t’. It’s like if someone did something once that’s wrong, everything they did was wrong
“You are allowed to have things in common with bad people as long it’s not the bad things. I’m a vegetarian and I love dogs, like Hitler. But the only thing I have in common with Hitler are the good bits!”
Gervais previously stated his belief that ‘cancel culture’ has made people “lose their sense of irony,” adding that “the BBC have got more and more careful” with what they choose to broadcast.
The comedian and actor is currently working on a third season of his acclaimed Netflix show After Life.