Ricky Gervais swears he wasn’t making trans people the butt of his jokes in his controversial Netflix special SuperNature, but rather the notion of trans activist ideology.
The comedian, despite claiming he’s supportive of trans rights, made several questionable quips about the marginalised community in his newly released film, sparking backlash.
The jokes included Ricky saying that ‘old-fashioned women’ are ‘the ones with wombs’, before saying: ‘I love the new women. They’re great, aren’t they? The new ones we’ve been seeing lately. The ones with beards and c**ks, they’re as good as gold, I love them.’
He also made a gag about transitioning to become ‘Vicky Gervais’.
Ricky maintains, however, that his jokes were aimed at trans philosophy. ‘My target wasn’t trans folk, but trans activist ideology,’ he said. ‘I’ve always confronted dogma that oppresses people and limits freedom of expression.’
He continued to Spectator that Trans activist ideology has been ‘probably the most current, most talked about, taboo subject of the last couple of years.’
‘I deal in taboo subjects and have to confront the elephant in the room,’ Ricky added.
Since the release of SuperNature, Ricky has also defended joking about taboo subjects.
Joining Jermaine Jenas and Alex Jones on The One Show on Tuesday night, Ricky said he ‘wants to take the audience to a place hasn’t been before even for a split second’.
‘And you know, most offence comes from when people mistake the subject of a joke with the actual target, so it starts there. “What’s he gonna say?” I tell the joke. They laugh.’
‘You know, it’s like a parachute jump,’ Ricky continued. ‘It’s scary, but then you land and it’s all okay.
‘And I think that’s what comedy is for, getting us over taboo subjects. They’re not scary anymore. So, I deal with everything you know.’
He added: ‘And then I think we second guess the audience too much. Even in narrative stuff, like After Life, you know, people saying, the audience hate this, of course they can, real life is much worse. These are just jokes.
‘They don’t mean anything. They’re just for you to laugh for an hour or so. So that’s why ideally taboo subjects. Yeah.’
Ricky’s new special, SuperNature, launched on Netflix on Tuesday with an 18 rating that warned of ‘language, crude humour’ and ‘discrimination’.
During the film, the After Life star emphasised his support for the trans community, saying: ‘Okay, 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.’
After this statement received a few cheers from the audience, he then added: ‘But lose me halfway ladies – lose the c**k. That’s all I’m saying,’ a comment that sparked far more cheers, whoops and clapping.
SuperNature is available to stream on Netflix.