Tuesday 27 September 2016

Ricky Gervais responds to backlash following 'transphobic' Caitlyn Jenner jokes at Golden Globes

Published 12/01/2016 | 12:41

In this image released by NBC, host Ricky Gervais appears at the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016 -- (Paul Drinkwater/NBC via AP)
In this image released by NBC, host Ricky Gervais appears at the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016 -- (Paul Drinkwater/NBC via AP)

Ricky Gervais was bound to offend somebody during his stint presenting the Golden Globes in LA on Sunday night.

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In fact, he offended many, not least the transgender community, many members of which have labelled him 'transphobic' following his jokes about Caitlyn Jenner.

He kicked off his opening monologue by calling all the A-listers present "disgusting, pill-popping, sexual deviant scum" and he branded Sean Penn a 'snitch' in reference to Penn's interview with El Chapo.

He then aimed his gag cannon squarely at Caitlyn Jenner.

"I've changed," he said.  "Not as much as Bruce Jenner, obviously."

He added that "What a year she’s had. She became a role model for transpeople everywhere, showing great bravery in breaking down barriers and destroying stereotypes. She didn’t do a lot for women drivers, but you can’t do everything."

He then went on to question what actor Jeffrey Tambor does with his balls when playing a father who decides to openly live life as a woman in the show Transparent.

The jokes were branded 'transphobic' by some viewers on Twitter but Gervais is having none of it.

He took to Twitter on Tuesday to say, "Suggesting a joke about Caitlin Jenner is automatically transphobic is like suggesting a joke about Bill Cosby is automatically racist."

"In the future, everyone will be offended by me for 15 minutes. You have every right to be offended. Just don't cry when no one cares."

"Do people not realise that when they say they are offended by a joke it makes that joke even funnier for the rest of us?" he asked hours later. "If jokes caused the easily offended to bleed internally, I'd do more stand up."

The Office creator and star then took one follower to task after he wrote, "If your joke is about a person's transition, it's probably transphobic."

"What if it was about her killing someone with her car?" Gervais responded. "Would that be ok?"

The user replied, "Yeah, but the joke was in two parts. That bit: fair game but the 'Bruce Jenner changes...' bit was about her transition", prompting the funnyman to point out: "But it WAS Bruce Jenner who changed. Into Caitlyn Jenner. And I respect that. Just not her driving."

Gervais then wrapped up the rant by laughing, "I made a joke about Caitlyn Jenner killing someone in her car. I'm #TransportPhobic."

The 2015 accident occurred when the SUV Jenner was driving slammed into the back of a car on the Pacific Coast Highway in February, causing a pile-up which nudged Kim Howe's vehicle into oncoming traffic, resulting in her death.

Jenner escaped criminal charges, but was sued by other drivers involved in the crash.

Many other viewers and publications commended Gervais on a litany of hilarious gags.

On Monday he tweeted, "18.5 Million Americans watched my monologue at The Globes last night so I'm disappointed NBC haven't got more complaints. I'm slipping."

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