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Netflix defends Ricky Gervais over ‘transphobic’ comedy special

Netflix is quickly becoming known for sympathising with transphobia after the company defended Ricky Gervais over joke at the expense of trans women.

How long will it take comedians that you can actually make jokes about things other than minority groups? Apparently it’s going to take a little longer for Ricky Gervais, who wasn’t quite up to speed in his recent Netflix comedy special SuperNature.

The British comedian made a “joke” about trans women that didn’t go down well, and Netflix have decided to defend Gervais, using the classic line, if you don’t like it, “you just don’t agree with him.”

Ricky Gervais
Credit: Netflix

During a lengthy section of the comedy special, Gervais says, “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.”

“Now the old-fashioned ones say, ‘Oh, they want to use our toilets.’ ‘Why shouldn’t they use your toilets?’ ‘For ladies!’ ‘They are ladies — look at their pronouns! What about this person isn’t a lady?’ ‘Well, his penis,'” he continued.

Wow, so original and challenging, Ricky. If that doesn’t scream “I’m completely out of touch” enough, Netflix have come out and defended the comedian in an interview with The New York Times.

“I think it’s very important to the American culture generally to have free expression,” Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said. “We’re programming for a lot of diverse people who have different opinions and different tastes and different styles, and yet we’re not making everything for everybody.

“We want something for everybody but everything’s not going to be for everybody,” Sarandos continued. “Nobody would say that what he does isn’t thoughtful or smart. You just don’t agree with him.”

Actually, a lot of people would say exactly that, Ted. In fact, a lot of comedians have called Gervais out for punching down and resorting to very lazy comedy.

Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle was one of the first to weight in on the special. “I saw him doing his routine about trans people and I thought it was very lazy,” he criticised.

Less recently, but just as relevant, during his Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999 tour, comedian James Acaster said one of the most based sentences I’ve ever read.

Talking about comedians who make jokes at the expense of the trans community, Acaster said, “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?’”

The comedian then directly named Ricky Gervais before continuing, “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.”

“Brave little cis boy” would be a great name for your next Netflix special, Ricky.