Ricky Gervais’ Netflix special blasted as ‘anti-trans rants’

May 24, 2022, 2:35 PM | Updated: 3:01 pm
FILE - Ricky Gervais appears at a screening of Netflix's "After Life" in New York on March 7, 2019....

FILE - Ricky Gervais appears at a screening of Netflix's "After Life" in New York on March 7, 2019. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

(Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Following in Dave Chappelle’s footsteps, Ricky Gervais ridicules transgender women in his new Netflix comedy special. As with Chappelle, the British stand-up quickly drew backlash for what a LGBTQ advocacy group called “anti-trans rants.”

In “SuperNature,” released Tuesday on the streaming service, Gervais jokes about “old-fashioned women. They’re the ones with wombs.”

He then imagines a conversation with such a woman who objects to sharing a restroom with a trans woman. “They are ladies, look at their pronouns. What about this person isn’t a lady?” Gervais said, supplying the response: “Well, his penis.”

In the hourlong special, Gervais defended his remarks as equal-opportunity humor and not a reflection of his views on trans or other rights. But transgender and LGBTQ defenders fired back, with GLAAD asserting that the special violates a Netflix policy against content designed to incite hate or violence.

“We watched the Ricky Gervais ‘comedy’ special on Netflix so you don’t have to,” the media watchdog group said. “It’s full of graphic, dangerous, anti-trans rants masquerading as jokes,” along with anti-gay rhetoric and inaccurate statements on HIV.

“The LGBTQ community and our allies have made it very clear that so-called comedians who spew hate in place of humor, and the media companies who give them a platform, will be held accountable,” GLAAD said in a statement.

Alexis Rangel, policy counsel with the National Center for Transgender Equality, said that jokes based on “dehumanizing myths about transgender people” disregard how such falsehoods fuel hatred and anti-trans violence, especially for trans youngsters.

She cited a 2015 organization survey that found 54% of those in kindergarten through 12th grade who were out or perceived as transgender were verbally harassed, 24% were physically attacked and 13% were sexually assaulted.

Such unfunny attempts at humor “give people permission to discriminate, harass and even commit violence,” Rangel said in a statement.

Netflix and a representative for Gervais didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Last year, Chappelle and Netflix created a furor when his stand-up special, “The Closer,” was accused of anti-trans humor by gay rights groups and some Netflix employees. Ted Sarandos, the streaming giant’s CEO, declined to remove the special, citing creative freedom, and Netflix and Chappelle remain in business together.

In an Instagram video last October, Chappelle blamed the media for framing the dispute as him versus the LGBTQ community, and said the controversy was “about corporate interest and what I can say and what I cannot say.”

Gervais is familiar to audiences as a repeat host of the Golden Globes. He’s an Emmy-winner for his role in the comedy “Extras” and as a producer of “The Office,” based on the original British series of the same name that he co-created.

His trans mockery comes early in the “SuperNature” special, in which he also targets Asians and the Holocaust, among others. At a later point, he defends his approach by dismissing the idea that “a joke is a window into a comedian’s true soul.”

“That’s just not the case. I’ll take on any view to make the joke funny. I’ll pretend to be right wing, I’ll pretend to be left-wing. … Full disclosure: Of course I support trans rights. I support all human rights. And trans rights are human rights,” he said.

“Live your best life. use your preferred pronouns, be the gender that you feel that you are,” Gervais said — then added another trans-directed punchline.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - This Sept. 9, 2012 file photo shows The entrance to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Sou...
Associated Press

Experts: US Court fractures decades of Native American law

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling expanding state authority to prosecute some crimes on Native American land is fracturing decades of law built around the hard-fought principle that tribes have the right to govern themselves on their own territory, legal experts say.
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Top election officials in Arizona county leave amid threats

PHOENIX (AP) — The elected county recorder and the elections director in Arizona’s Yavapai County are resigning after more than a year and a half of threats and heated criticism from backers of former President Donald Trump who accept his lie that he lost the 2020 election because of fraud. County Recorder Leslie Hoffman said […]
19 hours ago
FILE - In this July 24, 2021, file photo former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a ga...
Associated Press

Trump social media firm subpoened by feds, stock regulators

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s social media company and some of its employees received subpoenas from both a federal grand jury and securities regulators, according to a public disclosure Friday, possibly delaying or even killing a deal promising a cash infusion needed to take on Twitter. Trump Media & Technology Group received subpoenas from […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Woman awarded $431,000 for Occupy Wall Street police actions

NEW YORK (AP) — A Manhattan woman was awarded over $400,000 on Friday by a federal jury after suing New York City and its police department, saying she suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was thrown to the ground by a police sergeant while serving as a medic for protesters during 2012 Occupy Wall […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Woman awarded $431,000 for Occupy Wall Street police actions

NEW YORK (AP) — A Manhattan woman was awarded over $400,000 on Friday by a federal jury after suing New York City and its police department, saying she suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was thrown to the ground by a police sergeant while serving as a medic for protesters during 2012 Occupy Wall […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Prosecutor won’t sue Texas AG Paxton over Jan. 6 records

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A prosecutor’s office said Friday that it won’t move forward with a lawsuit against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton over his refusal to release his communications relating to his appearance at a pro-Donald Trump rally that preceded the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last year. The Austin-based Travis County district […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
Ricky Gervais’ Netflix special blasted as ‘anti-trans rants’