GLAAD on Ricky Gervais’ Netflix Special: “Dangerous, Anti-Trans Rant”
In a statement, GLAAD called the special “dangerous,” saying it consists of “anti-trans rants disguised as jokes.”
“We watched Ricky Gervais’ ‘comedy’ special on Netflix so you don’t have to. It’s full of graphic, dangerous, anti-trans rants disguised as jokes. It also spouts anti-gay rhetoric and spreading inaccurate information about HIV,” GLAAD said in the statement. “Warning Ricky and Netflix: People living with HIV today, when on effective treatment, lead long, healthy lives and cannot transmit HIV to others.”
The statement continued: “Netflix has a policy that content ‘designed to incite hatred or violence’ is not permitted on its platform, but we all know that anti-LGBTQ content does just that. While Netflix is home to groundbreaking LGBTQ shows, it refuses to enforce its own comedy policy. The LGBTQ community and our allies have made it clear that so-called comedians who spew hate in place of humor, and the media companies that give them a platform, will be held accountable. Meanwhile, there are LOTS of funny LGBTQ comedians to support.
Representatives for Netflix and Gervais did not immediately respond to Varietyrequest for comment.
In the special titled “SuperNature”, Gervais makes several offensive jokes surrounding the trans community, seemingly aware that his comments will spark controversy.
“Ah, women! said Gervais in the special. “Not all women, I mean the most old-fashioned ones. The old-fashioned women, the ones with bellies. Those fucking dinosaurs. I like new women. They are awesome, aren’t they? The new ones we’ve seen lately. Those with beards and dicks. They are as good as gold, I love them. And now the old-fashioned say, ‘Oh, they want to use our toilets.’ “Why wouldn’t they use your toilet?” ‘For ladies!’ “They are ladies, look at their pronouns! What about this person who is not a woman? “Well, his penis.” ‘His penis, you fucking bigot!’ “And if he rapes me? ‘What if she rapes you, you fucking fucking TERF?’
Towards the end of the special, Gervais claims he supports trans rights, but that leads to another punchline at the expense of the community: “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 favorite pronouns. Be the type you feel you are. But meet me halfway, ladies: lose the dick. That’s all I’m saying.
This isn’t the first time Netflix has hosted a comedy special featuring anti-trans jokes. In October, Dave Chappelle’s “The Closer” special led to company walkouts and protests. Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos defended the special in a memo, saying he supports Chappelle’s “creative freedom.”
“As with our other talent, we work hard to support their creative freedom – even if that means there will always be content on Netflix that some people find harmful,” Sarandos said.
In a statement at the time, Netflix said it encouraged employees to “openly disagree” with the sentiment of Chappelle’s special.
“Dave Chappelle’s specials are consistently the most-watched comedy specials on Netflix and have won numerous awards, including an Emmy and Grammy for ‘Sticks & Stones,'” a Netflix spokesperson said. “We support the artistic expression of our creators. We also encourage our employees to openly disagree.
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