In the special released on Tuesday (May 24), the controversial comedian makes numerous jokes about the trans community.
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Oh, women,” he begins. “Not all women, I mean the old-fashioned ones. The old-fashioned women, the ones with wombs. Those fucking dinosaurs. I love the new women. They’re great, aren’t they? The new ones we’ve been seeing lately. The ones with beards and cocks. They’re as good as gold, I love them.
“And now the old-fashioned ones say, ‘For ladies!’ ‘They are ladies – look at their pronouns! What about this person isn’t a lady?’ ‘Well, his penis.’ ‘Her penis, you fucking bigot!’ ‘What if he rapes me?’ ‘What if she rapes you, you fucking TERF whore!’”
The trans community is brought up again in a later segment, where he discusses Kevin Hart’s decision to step down as host of the Oscars in 2018 over past homophobic tweets.
Gervais added: “You can’t predict what will be offensive in the future. You don’t know who the dominant mob will be. Like, the worst thing you can say today, get you cancelled on Twitter, death threats, the worst thing you can say today is, ‘Women don’t have penises,’ right? Now, no one saw that coming. You won’t find a ten year old tweet saying ‘Women don’t have penises.’ You know why? We didn’t think we fucking had to.”
At the end of the special, Gervais provides some context to the jokes, saying: “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.”
While some have supported Gervais, the special has been criticised by many on social media. “Ricky Gervais has a new stand up show out on Netflix today,” one Twitter user wrote. “Five minutes in and he’s making jokes about trans women attacking & raping people in public bathrooms.
“To him we exist only as a punchline, a threat, something less than human.”
Ricky Gervais has a new stand up show out on Netflix today.
5 minutes in and he’s making jokes about trans women attacking & raping people in public bathrooms. To him we exist only as a punchline, a threat, something less than human.
— Esme (@discount_Ripley) May 24, 2022
watching people cheer for @rickygervais and his new special full of anti-trans "jokes" (does implying trans women are men and rapists pass for a joke these days?) just fucking hurts. what a great reminder that people see us as subhuman. I used to like you, man #SuperNature
— Maja Heban (@HebanMaja) May 24, 2022
Ricky Gervais doing a set on trans folks.
How daring. How novel. How heroic!
Comedy that really makes you think!
Made me think of a man called Barry who sits in a pub in Hyde sipping a John Smiths all day, reading the Mail, making similar gags and complaining about immigrants.
— Paul Husband (@PaulHusband_) May 24, 2022
Ricky Gervais New Stand Up Show #SuperNature makes jokes about trans women attacking & raping people in public bathrooms.
This isn't comedy. This is making cheap, nasty stereotypes out of a minority group.
Please, if you're Transgender or Support Trans lives, don't watch this.
— Amy 🌙 (@AnxietySugar_) May 24, 2022
So on the same month that we've seen anti-trans legislation, parents of trans kids investigated for child abuse, and Don't Say Gay/Trans bills…
— Erin Reed (@ErinInTheMorn) May 24, 2022
On the same day SuperNature launched, Gervais announced on Twitter that Netflix will also release his next stand-up special Armageddon.
Netflix previously faced criticism over Dave Chappelle special The Closer, which similarly made jokes about trans people. The special even sparked employee walkouts and protests within Netflix.
After sending out a memo defending the special, Netflix boss Ted Sarandos admitted last year he “screwed up” in regards to the “internal communication” he sent.