The line of comedians upset over “woke” activists attempting to cancel them is growing longer by the day. Add to the mix legendary British comedian Ricky Gervais, who had some harsh words for those upset over some of his stand-up material in his latest special.
The “Office UK” star sent a shot across the bow shortly before Christmas, accusing a small mob of leftists of trying to torpedo “Armageddon” with negative reviews and outrage over a joke he made about the Make-A-Wish Foundation, where he happens to be a participant and volunteer. The special proved to be a hit over the holiday break, garnering millions of views on Netflix with no promotion by the streaming service.
“Of all the millions of people that watched it and loved it, only a few don’t like it. 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!’” Gervais told BBC Radio 5 Live.
In his special, the 62-year-old comedian told an audience he would “never do this,” going on to ask rhetorically why the foundation’s terminally ill children request cameo videos from celebrities rather than wishing for cures for their ailments.
”Why didn’t you wish to get better? What are you f***ing ret***ed as well?” Gervais asks in the special.
He calls the outrage a “faux offense” meant to collect clicks and stifle his license to humor.
“I’m literally saying in the joke that I don’t do that. But people have a reaction. They don’t analyze it. They feel something – that’s what offense is. It’s a feeling. That’s why ‘I’m offended’ is quite meaningless. What do you want me to change?
“They’re not really offended. They just want to be heard,” he said.
Asked why his special, which became a top 10 hit on the streaming service, never got any studio promotion, Gervais chalked it up to fear of blowback.
“Netflix aren’t doing any posters because they can’t be arsed.. They think it’s going to be huge whatever,” he told BBC.
Dave Chappelle, another comedic icon, released his seventh Netflix special on New Year’s Eve and took a predictable hit for targeting trans people with a story about meeting Jim Carrey. After making Netflix millions of dollars, it’s doubtful that Chappelle or Gervais will see the stage lights dimmed by the streaming service.