Ricky Gervais responds to accusations of transphobia following new Netflix special
SuperNature features a number of jokes targeted at the trans community.
Ricky Gervais has fired back at accusations of transphobia following criticism of his latest Netflix special.
SuperNature was published on the platform on Tuesday (24 May), and features a series of jokes which target the trans community.
In the special, Gervais makes several comments surrounding genitalia, "cancel culture", and HIV. Gervais has now spoken about the controversy in an interview with The Spectator, a UK conservative magazine.
"My target wasn't trans folk, but trans activist ideology," Gervais said. "I've always confronted dogma that oppresses people and limits freedom of expression."
"It was probably the most current, most talked about, taboo subject of the last couple of years. I deal in taboo subjects and have to confront the elephant in the room."
SuperNature was widely condemned by a number of LGBTQ+ organisations, with media monitoring organisation GLAAD describing the set as "graphic, dangerous, anti-trans rants masquerading as jokes".
"He also spouts anti-gay rhetoric & spreads inaccurate information about HIV," the organisation said.
"Attention Ricky and Netflix: people living with HIV today, when on effective treatment, lead long and healthy lives and cannot transmit HIV to others. U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable).
"Netflix has a policy that content "designed to incite hate or violence" is not allowed on their platform, but we all know that anti-LGBTQ content does exactly that.
"While Netflix is home to some groundbreaking LGBTQ shows, it refuses to enforce its own policy in comedy.
"The LGBTQ community and our allies have made it very clear that so-called comedians who spew hate in place of humor, and the media companies who give them a platform, will be held accountable."
Dave Chappelle faced similar criticism over his special "The Closer", which Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said would not be removed from the streaming platform.
Netflix recently laid off over 100 employees, with major cuts made to social media teams, in particular those that promote programs from the LGBT community and minority groups.