Comedian Ricky Gervais’ new comedy special “Super Nature” had only been streaming on Netflix for a few hours when the outrage and pearl-clutching began.
Several people warned before the special even dropped that it was likely to trigger a response.
“Ricky Gervais is going to make a bunch of funny jokes in his new special. I hope Netflix has pre-ordered the fainting couches,” @AGHamilton29 tweeted.
And Eoin Higgins warned, “Ricky Gervais has a new comedy special coming out Tuesday. Word is that Netflix sat on it for months because of how virulently transphobic it is—worse than Chappelle—but are releasing it anyway for fear of right-wing backlash … It’s a ‘damned if you do damned if you don’t’ equation in their mind, so they’re… going to placate the bigots. Okay.”
“I’m filming this, shut up, you c****,” he said to uproarious laughter.
— Netflix Is A Joke (@NetflixIsAJoke) May 24, 2022
From there, Gervais left no woke stone unturned — addressing cancel culture and the idea of “woke comedy” — but his jokes about trans people provoked a wave of backlash on social media.
“Women,” Gervais complained in exaggerated tones. “I mean, the old-fashioned ones. The old-fashioned women. Oh God! You know, the ones with wombs. Those f***ing dinosaurs.”
There is still hope.pic.twitter.com/ORFRl7ozUC
— Laurence Fox ✝️ 🚛 (@LozzaFox) May 24, 2022
He went on to say that in today’s culture, one of the worst things a person could say was, “Women don’t have penises” — but that the cancel culture trend of digging up a person’s decades-old tweets would not be a problem in that particular case, since ten years ago no one tweeted “women don’t have penises.”
His explanation for that was simple: “We didn’t think we f***ing had to.”
Pink News referred to the special in its entirety as “nothing more than an anti-trans garbage fire.”
Ricky Gervais' new Netflix special is nothing more than an anti-trans garbage fire https://t.co/ijRXBaX9jE
— PinkNews (@PinkNews) May 24, 2022
“Ricky Gervais has a new stand up show out on Netflix today. 5 minutes in and he’s making jokes about trans women attacking & raping people in public bathrooms. To him we exist only as a punchline, a threat, something less than human,” @discount_Ripley tweeted in response.
“You’ve got to be stupid to think re-peddling the most tired, ignorant, Trump-cult fuelled [sic] transphobic crap is edgy. Ricky Gervais, 40 years into his career, vomitting [sic] up toxic crap to make money from failing @netflix is little different to a Jim Davidson special for thick bigots,” Will Black added.
A review from The Independent said that the special “deals in cheap jokes and humiliating trans people.”
Ricky Gervais: SuperNature deals in cheap jokes and humiliating trans people – review ⭐⭐ https://t.co/EdJciZlWrF
— The Independent (@Independent) May 24, 2022
Gervais said that the response had already been so overwhelming that the streaming service had ordered his next stand-up special, titled “Armageddon.”
“#SuperNature was only released today, but thanks to you, @Netflix have ordered my next show #Armageddon already! The animal charities thank you too. You are beautiful,” he tweeted.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) May 24, 2022