Gervais has faced criticism over “transphobic” jokes in the special that was released on Tuesday (May 24), with LGBT rights organisation GLAAD describing the show as “full of graphic, dangerous, anti-trans rants masquerading as jokes”.
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Since the special was released, a clip from Acaster’s show Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999 has been shared across social media, which targets “edgy comedians” who “slag off transgender people”.
In the clip, Acaster says: “They say whatever they like, edgy comedians. No one tells them what they can and can’t say. They walk straight on stage, top of their specials sometimes, and do 10 solid minutes just slagging off transgender people.
— ruth (@ruth_walshe) May 24, 2022
“People on the internet get upset about it… the comedian’s always like, ‘Bad luck, that’s my job, I’m a stand-up comedian, I’m there to challenge people. If you don’t like being challenged, don’t watch my show. What’s the matter guys, too challenging for you?’”
He continues: “Yeah, cause you know who’s been long overdue a challenge? The trans community. They’ve had their guard down for too long, if you ask me. They’ll all be checking their privilege on the way home, thanks to you, you brave little cis boy.”
Acaster later names Gervais specifically, adding: “I used to name one of the comedians that was about, in that routine, but it always got really awkward in the room because apparently in 2019 most people are still more than happy to laugh at trans people but they’re not comfortable laughing at Ricky Gervais yet. That’s the line.”
Gervais recently defended making “taboo” jokes in an appearance on The One Show, saying comedy is for “getting us over taboo subjects so they’re not scary any more”.
At the end of his Netflix special, Gervais states: “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 that you feel you are. But meet me halfway, ladies. Lose the cock. That’s all I’m saying.”
Last year, Dave Chappelle faced criticism over jokes that were deemed “transphobic” in his Netflix special The Closer. Some employees at the streaming service staged a virtual walkout in protest over his comments.
Netflix boss Ted Sarandos initially defended Chappelle, though later admitted he “screwed up” in his response to the situation.