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Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais is under fire after a series of transphobic tweets he said were meant to be a joke.
Earlier this week, Gervais responded to a tweet by author J.K. Rowling, who had expressed her support for Maya Forstater. (Rowling was already facing backlash for backing Foraster, who had tweeted that a person cannot change their biological sex.)
Gervais’ rant began after he replied to a tweet by user @JarvisDupont, who tweeted a satirical article from the perspective of a transgender woman upset with Rowling.
“Those awful biological women can never understand what it must be like for you becoming a lovely lady so late in life,” Gervais tweeted. “They take their girly privileges for granted. Winning at female sports and having their own toilets. Well, enough is enough.”
Those awful biological women can never understand what it must be like for you becoming a lovely lady so late in life. They take their girly privileges for granted. Winning at female sports and having their own toilets. Well, enough is enough.— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) December 20, 2019
One user responded to Gervais writing, “Kindness is magic. Try to remember that.”
That prompted the comedian to reply with another transphobic tweet.
“Exactly. We need to protect the rights of women. Not erode them because some men have found a new cunning way to dominate and demonize an entire sex,” he wrote.
Exactly. We need to protect the rights of women. Not erode them because some men have found a new cunning way to dominate and demonise an entire sex.— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) December 20, 2019
After a wave of backlash, Gervais wrote that his tweets were intended to be jokes. He also encouraged users to report him to Twitter if they really thought his posts were harmful.
“Twitter has rules in place to guard against that sort of vile bigotry,” Gervais responded to one user. “My account will be closed down and you’ll be proved right and will have saved millions of lives. Why aren’t you doing this?”
But if I've said anything transphobic you should report me. Twitter has rules in place to guard against that sort of vile bigotry. My account will be closed down and you'll be proved right and will have saved millions of lives. Why aren't you doing this?— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) December 20, 2019
One user, @MariaMariley, asked Gervais to clarify his stance toward the transgender community, because if he was telling a joke, “it fell flat.”
“That’s why it’s free,” Gervais responded.
So are you telling a joke or taking a stance? Cause if it was a joke it fell flat.— maria (@MariaMariley) December 21, 2019
That's why it was free.— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) December 21, 2019
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Alexandra Samuels is a political reporter at the Texas Tribune and contributor to the Daily Dot, where she started as an intern covering politics in the summer of 2016. She enjoys Marvel movies, baking, and reading murder-mystery novels.