Ricky Gervais, a formerly known man whom we would not be discussing if it were not for his bigotry, has a new stand-up special on Netflix, a formerly successful streamer which we would not be discussing if it did not give millions to bigots in the post-success phase of their careers. The special premiered today and is, presumably by design, getting a lot of attention for Gervais’s heavy focus on anti-trans material — material like this, from the top of the special, which I’ve copy-and-pasted from Variety:
“Oh, women! Not all women, I mean the old-fashioned ones. The old-fashioned women, the ones with wombs. Those fucking dinosaurs. I love the new women. They’re great, aren’t they? The new ones we’ve been seeing lately. The ones with beards and cocks. They’re as good as gold, I love them. And now the old-fashioned ones say, ‘Oh, they want to use our toilets.’ ‘Why shouldn’t they use your toilets?’ ‘For ladies!’ ‘They are ladies — look at their pronouns! What about this person isn’t a lady?’ ‘Well, his penis.’ ‘Her penis, you fucking bigot!’ ‘What if he rapes me?’ ‘What if she rapes you, you fucking TERF whore?'”
Ha-ha-ha, and oh of course we are laughing. Finally, the trans community — notable for their ease of living and overall haughtiness — is taken down a peg.
This is of course not Gervais’s first foray into transphobia. In 2019 he caught flack for posting transphobic tweets, an experience on which he later doubled down on and seems to allude to later in the special:
“You can’t predict what will be offensive in the future. You don’t know who the dominant mob will be. Like, the worst thing you can say today, get you canceled on Twitter, death threats, the worst thing you can say today is, ‘Women don’t have penises,’ right? Now, no one saw that coming. You won’t find a ten-year-old tweet saying ‘Women don’t have penises.’ You know why? We didn’t think we fucking had to!”
The special’s release follows a minor moment of controversy from this past weekend, when comedian John Mulaney surprised his Columbus, Ohio audience with an appearance from Dave Chapelle, who reportedly also told transphobic jokes. The transphobia seems to be a reaction to a world these comics no longer understand; one in which they can no longer operate at their former heights, and one which, therefore, no longer offers them the praise it once did. And would be merely exhausting, or just ignorable, if it weren’t actively dangerous. Gervais anticipates the successful attainment of the “backlash” he’s courting, and closes his special with a disclosure:
“Full disclosure: In real life of course I support trans rights. I support all human rights, and trans rights are human rights. Live your best life. Use your preferred pronouns. Be the gender that you feel you are. But meet me halfway, ladies. Lose the cock. That’s all I’m saying.”