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Ricky Gervais Can’t Even Handle a Trans Woman’s Joke About Him

Gervais can dish it but he can't take it.

Ricky Gervais in 'Humanity' for Netflix.

Ricky Gervais’s latest Netflix special ‘SuperNature’ sees the British comedian delivering an extensive transphobic rant that is as virulent as it is unfunny. Like many comedians of his generation (Dave Chappelle in particular) Gervais delves into transphobic tropes, implies that trans people are predators, and appears unnaturally obsessed with the details of trans peoples’ genitals. You would think that Netflix would have learned something after the backlash following Chappelle’s last comedy special, but instead they are doubling down on “edgy” comedians who happen to hate trans folks.

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When the truth is, there’s nothing edgy about transphobia at all. Transphobia IS the establishment, it IS nothing new, and it’s been low-hanging fruit for hack comedians since the dawn of time. The special comes out a week before Pride Month, timing that Netflix might be aware of had they not fired most of the staff of their LGBTQ+ verticals and social media channel, The Most. And it’s not just LGBTQ+ employees: the company axed most of the staff at their publishing channels Strong Black Lead, Asian American-focused Golden, and Latinx-focused Con Todo.

But like most combative comedians of his generation who demand we relax and take a joke, Gervais is especially thin-skinned when it comes to jokes at his expense. In a classic case of “can dish it out but can’t take it”, Gervais hastily blocks anyone who mocks him on social media. Especially trans folks who have their own share of jokes about Gervais. Alejandra Caraballo, an instructor at Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, discovered as much when she was blocked by Gervais’s Twitter after making fun of him. And Caraballo didn’t even tag Gervais in her joke: clearly the man has his name on search and immediately blocks anyone who disagrees with him.

And it’s not just Caraballo. Twitter is filled with folks not only blocked by Gervais, but trolled by him in response to their tweets:

But it’s Caraballo who is having the last laugh, as her tweet is now making headlines and exposing Gervais for the hypocritical hack he truly is.

(image: Ray Burmiston/Netflix)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.

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