Netflix has released a new standup special from Ricky Gervais and it instantly became controversial for his choice of subject matter.
Netflix recently released the Ricky Gervais comedy special SuperNature and it’s already trending due to jokes targeted at the trans community. Ricky Gervais isn’t the first comedian to come under fire for jokes at the expense of the trans community, but Twitter users have taken to the platform to express their disappointment in the special. People on the other side of the aisle are defending the comedy. Here are a few of the Tweets regarding the controversial show:
Netflix is also coming under fire for giving Ricky Gervais the platform to release this kind of special to millions of viewers. Netflix has also been the subject of controversy due to its release of the Dave Chappelle specials, who has also been criticized for his harmful jokes regarding the trans community. In response to Netflix’s release of the Dave Chappelle specials, employees staged a trans solidarity walkout. The walkout was meant to mobilize Netflix to make changes, and a spokesperson from the streamer told Deadline “we have much more work to do both within Netflix and in our content,” in response to the walkout. While it’s unclear if Netflix has a timeline for those changes, their release of the Ricky Gervais will likely inspire similar inner pushback. Many people have said that they’ve decided to cancel their Netflix account in response:
The Ricky Gervais special and Dave Chappelle specials are just one reason that Netflix is bleeding subscribers. The streaming giant has also decided to crack down on account sharing, causing even more people to leave Netflix. Add the price hikes to the list and it seems like Netflix will have some work to do to repair its subscriber base.
Ricky Gervais ended his special by clarifying that he supports trans rights, but his initial jokes perpetuated the stereotype that trans women are rapists, saying ‘What if he rapes me?’ ‘What if she rapes you, you fucking TERF whore?’” Ricky Gervais also touched on cancel culture during the special, bringing up the controversies involving Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, and Liam Neeson. Dave Chappelle employed similar damage control tactics in his special, bringing up the death of his friend, trans comedian Daphne, and saying Daphne would have loved his jokes. John Mulaney recently came under fire for having Chappelle as a surprise opener for a show on his From Scratch tour. Chappelle’s set included jokes about the trans community.
With the Ricky Gervais special only being out for half a day at this point, it’s unclear what the long-term repercussions will be. Netflix ended up keeping the Dave Chappelle comedy specials on its platform, so it doesn’t seem likely that the Ricky Gervais special will be taken down either. At the time of this article’s writing, Ricky Gervais is currently the #3 trending topic on Twitter. Both the comedian and the streaming platform will be seeing a lot of backlash today and there will likely be more to this story as it continues to develop. Stay tuned to GIANT FREAKIN ROBOT for updates on this story.