Stand-up comedian Ricky Gervais has been slammed by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation organisation (GLAAD) and netizens alike, for making transphobic remarks on his Netflix special, SuperNature.
Within five minutes into the video, Gervais cracked jokes about women, and went on to say, “Oh, women. Not all women, I mean the old-fashioned ones. The old-fashioned women, you know, the ones with wombs. Those (expletive) dinosaurs.”
“I love the new women. They’re great, aren’t they? The new ones we’ve been seeing lately,” Gervais continued. “The ones with beards and cocks. They’re as good as gold, I love them. And 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?’,” he added.
GLAAD has taken a stance against both Gervais and Netflix, and shared that the show is “full of graphic, dangerous, anti-trans rants masquerading as jokes.”
It highlighted Netflix’s policy of not allowing content that is “designed to incite hate or violence”, and noted, “While Netflix is home to some groundbreaking LGBTQIA+ shows, it refuses to enforce its own policy in comedy.”
“The LGBTQIA+ community and our allies have made it very clear that so-called comedians, who spew hate in place of humour, and the media companies who give them a platform, will be held accountable,” GLAAD stated.
The organisation further noted that Gervais spread inaccurate information about HIV, “Attention Ricky and Netflix: people living with HIV today, when on effective treatment, lead long and healthy lives and cannot transmit HIV to others.”
Netizens called out Gervais on social media for his take on trans women.
“Ricky Gervais being utterly predictable and mocking transgender people in his latest special. It’s fucking insane to me how we take some of the most vulnerable, marginalised people in society, and tear them apart to hundreds of millions on Netflix like that’s okay,” wrote a Twitter user.
Another user, a trans woman herself, wrote, “As a trans woman, Ricky Gervais is LITERALLY erasing my existence. Today I took a smoldering selfie the cisgenders would be jealous of in a women’s toilet and when I looked at it again just now, I’ve become slightly transparent. You can see the tampon machine through my left arm.”
However, by the end of the special, Gervais said, “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 (penis). That’s all I’m saying.”
The company’s trans employees staged a walkout protest in retaliation of the streaming platform’s inaction. However, Chappelle is set to return to Netflix with four new comedy specials.