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December 27, 2023
Ricky Gervais smacks down triggered haters and their petition demanding Netflix remove one of his "offensive" jokes
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Ricky Gervais gave a Christmas present to the world and dropped his latest Netflix special, Armageddon, on Christmas Day. As is standard operating procedure whenever Gervais releases a new special, people are triggered into demanding jokes be removed. Gervais issued a statement about how little he gives a sh*t.
Here is the joke in question that has launched a petition. Ricky making light of the migrant invasion of the UK.
Wait, my bad. "Invasion of Britain" is the joke people will be complaining about next week. Gervais making fun of Make-A-Wish kids is why people are outraged today. That's this next joke.
You need to watch the ninety-second clip. It's a lot like the Matt Rife "domestic violence" joke. If I wrote out the text of the joke, it would lose context and might read as something offensive. But more importantly, the fact the comedian chose the joke to tweet out himself to promote his special? It means the joke kills.
Okay, one line.
“Why didn’t you wish to get better? What, you fucking retarded as well?”
An outraged person -- shocker, a woman -- found this to be very offensive because her daughter was terminally ill. On behalf of people who had no intention to watch the special and are reacting to something on social media, she launched a petition demanding Netflix remove this offensive material. "We believe that comedy should never come at the expense of someone else's pain or suffering."
Gervais reacted to the petition in an interview with the BBC by not reacting to the petition. He says that paying attention to a handful of hecklers is insulting to the millions of fans who got the joke and support his comedy.
"If I give them special attention and try and placate them, I’ve annoyed the other millions of people that got the joke. They go, ‘No, you’ve ruined it for us!"
He goes on to say, “I’ve got a duty to the people that like it and get it. I wouldn’t sit down with a heckler, would I? If I’m playing to 20,000 people, I wouldn’t stop the show and explain to them. I ignore them.”
I've long been an advocate of normalizing telling people on the internets to shut the f*ck up. We know how this works by now. A handful of random people have the same dumb opinion on Twitter (now X). A journalismer who agrees with that opinion creates content about how there is "outrage." Brands apologize because they don't want to be bothered. When in reality, the initial handful of people are nothing more than hecklers.
I don't find cancer jokes funny. If Gervais did two minutes making fun of cancer patients, I wouldn't demand the network remove the jokes or else. I just wouldn't laugh.
Unless the jokes were well crafted. Not finding a topic funny doesn't mean I don't admire the artistry.
Brodigan is Grand Poobah of this here website and when he isn't writing words about things enjoys day drinking, pro-wrestling, and country music. You can find him on the Twitter too.
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